Sidestepping the 7 Deadly Sins of ERP Implementations

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In a recent post on the Panorama Consulting Group’s blog, Eric Kimberling reviewed “The Seven Deadly Sins of ERP Implementations” or seven items that can disrupt an ERP implementation if they are not planned for appropriately.  Although Kimberling’s list is thorough, it fails to mention how a qualified ERP software partner can help guide you through the implementation process so that you avoid these pitfalls.

Socius, an Ohio Microsoft Dynamics Partner, has developed a process to specifically address and avoid these Seven Deadly Sins:

  1. Program Management – Managing every aspect of the software implementation process  from business process improvements and acceptance to governance and controls issues. For every Socius guided ERP implementation, there is a dedicated Project Manager who is responsible for developing and executing the Project Charter which ensures that all tasks, processes, and timelines are met.  Socius’ Quality Assurance program measures project performance in every phase of the implementation to detect issues early and provide confidence that the deliverables and services will fulfill the defined requirements.
  2. Business Process and Workflow Definition and Improvement – Before the system can be fully adopted, business process improvements, workflows both inside and outside the system, and employee roles within the system need to be defined. A Socius Business Process Review identifies any gaps between your strategy and execution.  During a BPR, we analyze, document, and review current systems and critical business workflows alongside the core functionality of the new system to ensure maximum future efficiency.   A core team is created with members from all departments and business groups in order to plan the scope of the implementation, determine how it will affect all areas of the business, and ensure user adoption.
  3. Organizational Change Management and Communications – In order to gain employee adoption and business benefits from the system, it is crucial to implement a robust organizational change management program that includes targeted communications to each major workgroup, business process training, organizational impact assessments, employee role redesigns, and more. To clearly identify our project goals, timeframes, and expected outcomes, Socius develops a project Communication Plan. We oversee interactive classroom-style training to encourage participation of members in all departments and to ensure user adoption. This training is typically conducted by the organization’s project team, thus displaying corporate ownership of the new system. Socius also conducts a Business Impact Assessment to help organizations identify their corporate objectives, understand what their strategies are and the obstacles they face in meeting those objectives, and help them build a winning strategy to accomplish their objectives.
  4. Business and Technical Integration – In order to prevent your system from being fragmented and disjointed (thereby defeating the purpose of implementing a new ERP system), you need to manage any integrations to systems or business processes outside your ERP solution from both a technical and business design and testing perspective. Socius’ consultants have extensive experience with several types of integrations. We discuss plans for data conversion, integrations, and infrastructure upgrades prior to any type of implementation.
  5. Globalization and Localization – Finding a balance between standardizing business processes across multiple locations and/or countries while retaining a level of localization for regulatory or business reasons can delay an ERP implementation project if not defined early on.  Socius has many clients with multiple locations across the US and the globe.  We take proactive measures to determine what processes can be standardized globally and which require localization.  Read about how a Cincinnati, Ohio wholesale distributor, G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers, saved $560,000 annually by standardizing business processes globally with Microsoft Dynamics GP. 
  6. Independent Oversight of Technical Resources – Without clear direction, guidance, and project controls, it is easy to fall into a spiral of unnecessary customization, configuration, and set-up that doesn’t meet key business requirements and results in higher costs and longer implementation projects. With Socius’ proven process using a detailed Business Process Review and Business Impact Assessment, along with a dedicated project manager, we avoid the pitfalls of unnecessary customizations and other tasks that can delay a project and result in higher costs.
  7. ERP Benefits Realization – Perhaps the biggest sin of all is that too many companies spend millions of dollars only to fail to realize their anticipated benefits due to the lack of a robust ERP benefits realization program. 

    In order to help you set and meet your business objectives, Socius creates a Business Value Summary that details the features of the ERP software, the benefits or those features, and how they function to meet your requirements so that there are no unpleasant surprises once your implementation project is complete.

Set your ERP implementation project up for success by requesting a complimentary Business Strategy Assessment today from Socius today!

By Socius, an Microsoft Dynamics Partner in Ohio, Kansas City, and California

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