Like any new project, its success is as dependent on good preparation as it is on good execution. You need to have a crystal clear picture of where you are now, so you can get to where you want to go as smoothly and as painlessly as possible.
Here are five critical actions we help you carry out when preparing to migrate to your new ERP platform.
1. Analyse your processes
The starting point for nearly all ERP projects is analysing all your current systems and processes. This exercise will give you a comprehensive understanding of what happens in your business, from an operational point of view, and why. It should give you a reasonably vivid picture of what’s working and what’s not. (Your staff will be able to give you hints on that too. More later.)
This is also the time when we work with you to document your future needs, so that the new system will competently cater for growth, diversity and new processes.
This enables us to build a picture of what to keep, what to refine (or even automate), and what you no longer need, so we can plot a path to a system that’s more responsive to your business’s needs, and to your customers.
2. Analyse your reporting
- What reports are you running and why?
- How do you use the information they produce?
- How do you plan to use this information in the future?
- How have your needs changed over the years?
- What will the new system offer you that your legacy one didn’t?
While you may want to start off with a pared-back list of business-critical reports, it’s important to create a logical and robust structure that will make them easy to access. And, as you and your team get familiar with the new system and unravel its power, you may decide to create a host of other reports for your users. A solid reporting structure will be vital for supporting this evolution.
3. Analyse your security
GDPR - General Data Protection Regulation. It’s a term that businesses the world over have come to appreciate. The implications for your data security as you implement a new ERP are profound.
As part of your preparation we take a close look at the type of data you store, how you use and transact with it. We make sure you have the right security protocols in place to protect yours and your clients’ data, and that you’re processes comply with all the relevant regulations and legislation. We also make sure the processes and policies align between your legacy platform as you transition to your new ERP.
4. Analyse your infrastructure
When transitioning from an older system, it’s important you don’t “throw the baby out with the bath water”. Sure, you’re making the move because you need something that will keep up with you as you march toward the future, but that doesn’t mean everything in the old system is wrong or irrelevant. It’s important to strike a balance between the two so you take your best foot forward into the new platform. It’s also important to ‘validate’ the infrastructure of your new system—you want to be sure it suits your business’s needs and isn’t just a cookie cutter replica of another business’s approach.
5. Analyse – and cleanse – your data
The preparation stage is also the perfect time to go through and give your data a good spring clean. Clear out the cobwebs of obsolete records, rationalise duplicates, complete missing important details, and make sure everything is ship shape and up to date. The added bonus of this exercise is that you can resolve any data issues before you migrate it across to your new ERP. Remember, you only want to keep the “good stuff” from your legacy systems. This an important step for mapping channels for your final data migration.
Take your staff on the journey
Your staff—the people who use the system, and who rely on it to serve your customers—are as fundamental a part of the project as the software. We help with including them at specific points in the planning schedule to talk about the changes you’re planning and to get their ideas and feedback. As daily users, they’re in an excellent position to tell you what they think is working and what isn’t; what problems and issues they are dealing with, and what would help them do their jobs better. They may even be able to give you valuable insights into your customers’ needs and frustrations.
And the best part – if you involve your team in the planning stage, they’re more likely to embrace the change to new process and a new system. It’s an essential change management strategy.
Where are you on your journey?
Implementing an ERP system is a complex business in anybody’s language. It represents a significant investment, and as such, significant risk if it doesn’t go right. If you’re ready to make your next ERP move, and are looking for some solid professional guidance, give the veterans at Exobiz Services a call on 07 3390 4900, or contact us here.