ERP Implementation Obstacles 03/24/2009Posted by TBoehm30 in ERP.
Tags: ERP, ERP Implementation, Hard Work, Implementation, Obstacles
Your ERP system is chosen. Management has spoken their approval and you have the team together. It’s time to put together your plan. The first real item on the plan is initial training. This is the type for the planners, not the end users. It’s just to learn the system enough to put together the implementation approach. In this particular case it’s the strategy of accounting vs. manufacturing. What parts of one or the other can we use to phase in the project. As I said in a previous post, I don’t like the big bang approach.
We need to schedule the accounting training for the accountants. These are the same accountants who close the books every month. They are the same accountants who prepare the books for publication every quarter. These accountants, by the way, spend quite a bit of time closing the books. That is the main reason why the company needs an ERP system. They need a better way to consolidate the books.
So when can these accountants take time away from their busy day jobs to work/train on the new ERP system?
The company runs very lean. They have just enough employees to get the job done. Everyone has their job, they know what they do and they do it very well. However, it is not automated. Their jobs could be much easier with some good technology. An ERP system with a single database would allow corporate accounting to easily consolidate their books. They will also get better insight into the costs of the business and be able to make better decisions. They’ll be able to understand the costs of producing different products. They’ll have better insights into their inventory and holding costs.
The first new task to start the implementation is training. When can we start the training? It is now the end of March. That means the end of the quarter and all of the work associated with closing the books. April is ruled out.
How about May? April books need to be closed, so maybe the second week of May. It seems like we’ve only got the accountants for half the month or less. That is not going to be enough time to complete an ERP implementation in six months.
Once again, we need Executive support. It takes decisions at the highest levels to pull people off of their current jobs and get them to focus on the new project. This project has to be the number one priority. The only way to set that kind of priority is for a CFO or C-level Executive to set expectations.
They’ll also need help, probably from the outside, to continue normal operations. They’ll need to hire temporary workers who have enough skills to close the books. They’ll even need help from their current departments to continue operations while some of their leaders are working on other projects.
This is a short term headache to create a long term positive change for the company. Will they have the strength to pull this off? I think so because they are very aware that it’s a global world and technology makes it happen.