Part 6 | Enterprise Resource Planning - Post Go-Live
Congratulations on successfully going live on your new ERP system! You have been forward-thinking and have made a significant investment. With investments, the question is always – what is the return? So be sure you continue to consider (and reap) benefits. The Post go-live phase is an essential part of the ERP journey. It is crucial to make sure you’re off and running and in a good place.
In this blog post, we'll discuss five post ERP go-live considerations along with a short list of benefits from a well deployed ERP system.
Routines and Documentation
Establishing routines and documenting processes is helpful in ensuring that users run things smoothly Post go-live. Documentation can include formal user manuals, step by step instructions, and videos that explain transactions, processing, and report generation. Your documentation should be accessible to all users and regularly updated to reflect any changes in your deployment.
Establishing routines also ensures that the system is running optimally. This includes setting up regular maintenance and monitoring (like backups). Routines also help create a predictable business cadence, for important requirements like payables, sales order entry, creating financials, inventory, and invoicing. With regular routines, you will identify issues in manageable increments which prevents them from turning into larger problems.
Value Added Reseller Steps Back – Have They Taught You to Fish?
During the ERP implementation, your Value Added Reseller (VAR) likely played a critical role in guiding your team. Post go-live, your VAR should take a step back and your team should be enabled. The VAR should remain available to provide guidance and support (see item 4 below) as changes are needed.
Pre Go Live, your VAR should have trained your team to use the system effectively. This includes working in a pilot company to achieve comprehensive training on system features, processes, and configurations that were made during implementation. Your team should be 100% ready to use and operate the ERP independently.
Self Service – Manuals, Websites, User Groups
Providing self-service options is essential post go-live. This includes manuals, websites, user groups, and other resources that enable your team to troubleshoot issues and learn new features independently. These resources can also help you stay up-to-date on system enhancements and industry best practices. “Self Service” Resources should be easily accessible.
ERP systems are dynamic. As your business evolves, so should your ERP deployment. Post go-live, it is essential to identify enhancements. These may include new modules, new add on’s, new configurations to the system, and new functionality that the software publisher releases. By regularly seeking improvements, you’ll have a better ERP deployment which will benefit your company.
Planning for enhancements is an ongoing process. It is essential to have a clear understanding of your present deployment and your evolving business requirements. Engage with your users and work with your VAR to plan these enhancements.
Be Patient – Takes….Perhaps….a Year
Finally, it's essential to be patient post go-live. ERP implementation is a significant undertaking, and it takes time to mature. With this maturation, the benefits of the system will be realized. It's not uncommon for it to take up to a year to fully realize the benefits of the deployment. During this time, processes become familiar, users improve at their jobs and a build up of internal knowledge transpires. These are all good things for your business and benefits start to show.
As a beacon of optimism, here's a short list of the benefits of a well deployed ERP system we’ve seen at our clients:
- Clean financials
- Great reporting
- Higher productivity – would have had to hire more people with the old system.
- Better quality
- Quicker answers
- More “pro-activity” – both with alerts and freeing up people from routine tasks.
- Better inventory accuracy
- Better material planning
- More dashboards – less guess work, less formal reports
- Quicker training time
- Entry into an ERP community
- Your business is more attractive.
- Higher user satisfaction – and employee retention