Getting the right time with an ERP implementation

////Getting the right time with an ERP implementation

Microsoft Dynamics implementation can be a long process to undertake. A solid plan is necessary to make sure that the integration works throughout the premises and provides the benefits that a company specifically requested. That includes having a team that will commit a significant amount of their time to the transition and allocating a large amount of resources to it. It also means rewriting documentation to fit the new software and training employees so that they are ready to use everything at launch. All of these things take a lot of time. Planning out an ideal timeline and schedule can help companies establish a better strategy to ensure the project's success.

Pragmatism, not idealism
When developing an ERP plan, it's best to take into consideration that certain timelines are just unfeasible in many situations. ERP expert Eric Kimberling recalled a lawsuit involving a botched implementation and noted how the sales representative for the software vendor said that the company in question, whose market value was in the billions, could have significant operations up and running within 18 months. That's an extremely tight turnaround by most integration standards, and is highly unlikely unless every step in the process is followed completely and finished within the dictated timeframe. Such a plan doesn't take into account any variables that might appear in the process. This can include a sudden recognition that certain components may not fit the off-the-shelf solution and require customization or the need for a change management strategy to prepare employees and managers for the new software. The one pilot location that actually implemented the software took nearly three years to complete the job and it mismatched the company business model so badly that the company abandoned it and returned to legacy systems.

Such unfortunate decisions mean that companies should take a pragmatic approach and plan not around what is being sold to them, but rather how their business functions. That means looking through all the operations that the ERP software might have to contend with when it goes live and assigning tasks to deal with them, according to Collegiate Project Services. These tasks must have a clear focus and goal, so that the implementation team understands why it needs to be changed. It should have a duration that can give the team enough time to complete all the necessary adjustments. That can mean several days or a few weeks. From there, building out each task can create a timeline that actually makes sense and won't risk going over budget or missing expectations.

Learn how to define your ERP strategy by downloading the white paper entitled "ERP in Manufacturing: Defining the ERP Strategy" from the DMS website today.