8 Strategies for Minimizing Disruption During ERP Implementation
When retailers decide that the time has come to upgrade their organization to utilize an ERP solution, such as Dynamics 365, there’s often some degree of concern about disruption during the implementation and transition process. While this isn’t a totally unfounded reaction, after all, retail is an expansive business and there’s lot of things that need to go right from the start to ensure that your implementation is successful. Some factors that can contribute to this feeling of unease include:
- High volume of critical processes
- Growing transactional database
- Shortage of experienced IT talent internally
However, by understanding and acknowledging these challenges and taking proper steps to manage them, retailers can experience a smooth, straightforward, and effective implementation process. So, in this post, we’re looking at 8 things that businesses can do to minimize disruptions associated with ERP platform implementation.
- Have a detailed ‘road map’: For predictability and transparency, this is key. Your road map should include agreement on different functions, essential KPIs, and checkpoints along the way. This should also include a close review of the data strategy necessary for the conversion of all files; current or historical.
- Get stakeholder buy-in from the start: Though it may seem obvious, if you don’t have everyone on board from the very beginning, your ERP implementation may proceed more like a standard and separate technology project, and less like a substantial change with an impact across your business. This can in turn result in a process that is disjointed and ineffective.
- Be sure to consider organizational change management: As mentioned briefly in point #2, one of the most impactful parts of any ERP implementation stems from its acceptance throughout your organization. By understanding and focusing on the relationships between people, processes, and systems, your team can get acclimated to the new platform from the start.
- Communicate! Early, frequent, and consistent communication is key. This not only can help with ensuring that all involved parties are aware of the business objectives, but it can help to build trust and openness throughout your business and the transition process.
- Build the right team and stick to it: Your implementation team should include core business and IT teams, your platform vendor, business analysts, and QA teams to ensure sufficient resources for training and testing. Otherwise, with a changing team, it’s easy for things to be overlooked or for late change requests to pop up unexpectedly.
- Get support from your ERP platform vendor: You wouldn’t go to the dentist for a stomach ache, so why get implementation support from anyone except for your vendor? ERP software is complex but choosing a partner that is experienced in the entire ERP implementation cycle, your industry, and other related factors can be one of the biggest factors in success.
- Emphasize employee training: It doesn’t matter if you have the best implementation under the sun if your employees are struggling to use your platform. By integrating training throughout the process, you can not only help your employees to better use the tool, but you can also ensure its success through wide adoption across your business.
- Plan for deployment: Once you’ve thoroughly managed the pilot, tests, data migration, fixes, and customizations that have gone into your transition, then you can focus on the deployment. At this point, pay attention to training and documentation and prepare for some time to manage any challenges that may still arise.
Transitioning to an ERP solution can feel like a daunting task, but by following these 8 guidelines and others as set out by your partner and ERP vendor, you can ensure that your transition proceeds without issue. Working together with a partner that you trust that is experienced in your solution and also your industry can help you to avoid any pitfalls or loss that can arise during implementation, as well as helping to lay the foundation for the long-term success of the platform within your business.
Want to learn more about ERP migration and how to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible for your retail business? Make sure to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for your free consultation.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Systems Limited, or any other entity related to Systems Limited.