Preparing for a cost effective system implementation

By - December 16, 2015

Our clients are always looking for ways to decrease the costs related to implementing a new ERP system. Below are a few important, though time-consuming tasks, that can be completed by your team prior to the consultants arriving that will help everyone move forward quickly.

  • Align your business – Have your organizational chart, chart of accounts and subsidiaries ready even though things may change along the way. These provide a baseline for setup.
  • Know your data and clean it up
    • Understand your data – Know what your data means and create a data dictionary to help you understand what you have available today. This will also help you determine what’s missing.
    • Remove duplicates – If there are multiple systems holding the same data, then reconcile which data set is accurate and should be used going forward.
    • Determine how much data to migrate –Bringing over years of data and having to reconcile for accuracy can be a painful. Think about how much data you need to realistically run your business going forward.
  • Document your processes – This will allow those coming in to assist on the project to quickly understand your business processes. Be sure to include process exceptions since it can also help in understanding how to transition staff from the old way to the new way of doing things.
  • Know what you want to get out of the system – Always start with the end in mind.
    • Set 3-5 major themes for what you are trying to accomplish and for each theme, outline reporting and metrics desired.
    • Have realistic success criteria for day 1, understand what you need to run your business and consider a phased approach so you can accomplish your goals without overwhelming your resources. Allow time for your team to uncover issues, additional needs, or ways to work more effectively. (Be sure to include money in the budget for optimization.)
  • Start the change management process now – Systems rely on well-trained, competent users and good processes. It is critical to get the appropriate resources committed to the project. Determine who can successfully lead this strategic project, who else could be an advocate and engaged, and how their time can be freed up to meet the project demands. Also, think about those who will struggle with the change and how they should be engaged. Make plans early to help ease the transition and limit productivity loss.

By using your team of in-house experts you can kick start your implementation project in the right direction. Investing in yourself upfront will pay dividends as you bring in others who need to quickly understand your business. This will allow them to spend more time focusing on configuring and customizing the system to meet your unique business needs. To learn more about how RSM can assist you with your other business needs, contact RSM’s management consulting professionals at 800.274.3978 or email us.

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