By the time of writing this, I came across many articles, explaining what you should do (or not to do), from "Choosing right system", to "Kick start with ERP". But one thing was really surprising, that none of those mention the real heart and soul of real scenario! Here at Emipro, with vastly experienced team in this field, let's go through some of "Other than conventional" points, which DO impact in ERP system implementing.
Be ready to accept change
Make sure that you better follow the new system, not expect that new system follow you!
If you are using any current software, the new one will definitely be different from your current one. As new one will have it's own working flow and process flow, (with the same outcome as your previous one), then it will be much better for you to accept that flow and not enforce your flow into that. Not only it will save your time (and money), but you will get better performance for that new one. ( We at Emipro, consider time as a precious jewel, We hope you too !)
List out all your business process, like sales, purchase, manufacturing, Human resource management, and other. While selecting right ERP system, go through your checklist, and if you have any out of the box process flow, then obviously you may not find that in new system, in that case, go through discussion phase with service provider company, and define approx timeline to get those things done.
Accounting configuration and it's opening entries
In this digital world, as all accounting being managed in computer systems, while migrating from old software to new one, company must ensure that your current setup of accounting hierarchy should not get altered. Next comes the opening entries. Of-course you will not plan to transfer all your current accounting transaction to new one, you need to make sure that you have all closing balance of all accounts before moving to new system, and in next step, set all opening if all required accounts. By doing this, it will save your lot's and lot's of your time in future, and when you need to get any accounting reports, you will have right data ( which is most important !)
You need to list out all of your products/services which you are selling. There could be many attributes of your product, like category, unit of measures(UoM), EAN13, sale/purchase price, supply method, valuation method etc., which you need to make sure are configured rightly into new system. You need to make sure that if and where you can configure those, yes, this may be a bit hard, as you will be very much familiar with your current system than to the new one. Next thing will be to manage initial inventory of those products.
Stock opening and valuation
Take caution, Be aware ! Or in the end, you will be no where!
In an ERP implementation, Believe it or not, this can be defining part while shifting from your old system to new system. If you get this right, then you won the half battle ! (well, don't be happy, still half to be won !).
Anyway, as you may have located you products into different locations, then first of all configure those locations, and provide your opening inventory and right valuation in those locations. Make sure that these steps must be done with such timing, that when you start working with new system, you should have 99.99% accurate data of those. (we are not saying 100%, as in large company, it is near to impossible ! If you are SME, then that figure has to be 100%). If you missed the trick here, then whole time, you will be pacing back and forth, adjusting your inventory and trust me, that will be very very frustrating!!. So make sure that you get these steps done correctly.
Efficient way to train new employee, each time
We can say that this can be one of the toughest part, because here you are interacting with those guys, who are used to work effectively with your old system. And suddenly they have to start from scratch, and that too with new environment!!. Certainly it will not be easy for them to accept new things. So you need to either encourage them (or if required, force them) to accept new things, because their support is very much required. And there will be situation, when well trained employee leaves, and for the new one, you have to start all over again, and if your business is susceptible for such thing, then you need a permanent solution for that. Stuffs like reading document and go through system, may not make their way easier, where else props like video tutorials (divided into small portions of large process) will make stuff much easier, and will also take burden off your shoulder !
Proper management of security hierarchy
Company with large number of system user are concern with security issues. Limited access should be given to particular group of employee. For each process in ERP, you can define different hierarchy of security level, and based on that, allocated those to users. This will restrict user to move around into unnecessary parts of system, and it will reduce the chance for anything that goes wrong, as well as critical data been leaked.
Make your users accountable
You have to make user accountable, to make them more responsible!
Here, we need to cope with human tendency, (in most case) that if anything goes wrong by you, just deny it !!. In such situation, responsibility of each and every user has to be fixed. Prepare an audit for that, and make them more responsible to their work, whatever they do in system. This will be very important to measure their performance in future and also helps in increasing their accuracy.
In business, you can take any decision only if you have enough and proper data of your business. When you are short-listing new system, you need to take into account the flexibility of system, that you get your desired report from that system. Also check how many different types of reporting for sales purchase, manufacturing, etc. system provides.
Assure better support & availability of ERP provider
At the time of implementing new system, in initial stage it is bound to have some issue, and you will require support of the software provider. So as a good analyst, you have to identify the time-frame where the number of issue will be solved, and based on that, ask for the support. And also check & confirm availability of the provider, or in the end, your questions will never shake hands with their answers !
Hope for the best, prepare for the worse!
Now comes the tricky part ! There are different ways to go live to new system. One of those, is to shut down your old system completely and start working in new one. In this method of implementation, there should be no way to go back to your old one. We can only suggest this way, if all of your users know the working process of new system and all of your initial configurations are done in right way. Otherwise, you can go for parallel working of your new system to old one. Yes, this is more time consuming and will be double workload on your users, because they have to do same things in two different system and also in different user interface (which makes that more complicated !). During this process, in short span of time, you have to make decision whether, new one is in right shape or not. And if for some reason, all is not well in new system, you can switch back to your old one, without affecting your business related data.
That was all the points which I faced during our ERP Implementation experience with various Odoo projects at Emipro. If you have anything apart of above points, do not hesitate to share with us. We will wait for your valuable suggestions.