Halloween is scary, don’t let your ERP system implementation be, too

Doug Kittrell
By: Doug Kittrell
Date: October 31, 2018

“Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake;

Legacy systems known to flake.”

Obviously, that’s not how the witches’ song really goes, but ask anyone how their 20-year-old ERP is keeping up with current demands and you’ll hear an oft told tale of software that’s outlived its usefulness. Organizations running legacy ERP are dealing with programs that they have outgrown or are heavily modified to fit current needs, making maintenance burdensome. In other cases, organizations have skipped updates in fear of downtime or lost information. If that sounds scary, or a little too close to home, we’ve got some tricks and some treats on why it’s time to ditch your ERP and what you can do to drive a successful implementation.

Clear the cobwebs

According to industry sources, nearly 50 percent of IT projects fail the first time around. Talk about eerie. One of the tricks for a successful software selection and implementation experience is getting the right people involved. Your project team is the number one variable in your successful outcome. Gather your top talent to lead your ERP project, not just any resource available or a team member recently hired who may be less busy, but also less familiar with your business. Provide team members with the support they need to cover or help with daily tasks, so they can give the project the attention it deserves.

Transparency is also a large factor in enterprise-wide projects. ERP implementations are not just contained to the IT department. So, it is important to involve team members across the organization and make sure there is open communication across different teams and end users.

Lastly, don’t let the ghost of your old ERP haunt your new system implementation and avoid building bad legacy workflows into your new ERP. Instead, commit to change. The application was designed with best practices in mind. Challenge the users to consider why old processes won’t work in the new system and how they can use the opportunity to reinvent for competitive advantage.

Spooktacular approach

Having a “buy for today, prepare for tomorrow” mindset is critical when it comes to ERP selection. Internally, you’ll want to conduct a thorough evaluation of existing processes and document what works and where there are opportunities for improvement.

When it comes to software selection, don’t let the cauldron of capabilities become a witch hunt. Focus on key system capabilities that are important to your business rather than get caught up in analysis paralysis. Look at the vendor and where they’re making research and development investments. Other questions to ask: Is the solution multi-tenant? Does it incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning? Will the solution be able to scale as your business grows? Cloud relationships tend to be long term, so it’s critical to consider future needs for system selection and during the contract negotiation to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

Planning & Partnership

In addition to selecting the right software solution, evaluate the implementation firm at the same time. Ask questions like do you have experience implementing this version of the software? What is your methodology? Integration experience? While most software organizations offer implementation services, an ERP systems integrator brings greater value through a consistent delivery model and deep industry and technical expertise.

Time to put your legacy system to rest in the graveyard? Contact us to discuss your organizations next steps!

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