In the first segment of our ‘Your ERP Implementation’ series, we discussed initial steps, procedures, and introduced a philosophy for a core implementation team. In the second, we examined the crucial aspect of a work-flow review, which then lead into installation and training. In this new segment, we will take our newly found knowledge to refine a honed implementation plan, based on specific structures, needs, and requirements, to ensure best results throughout the ERP project.
Pre-Implementation Planning Meeting
With the implementation team and other key personnel now adequately trained, the team and the AE can apply the team’s new found understanding of how your ERP system operates to mapping out the details of the implementation and refining the project plan.
During this process, decisions will be made shaping the course of the implementation. For example: How will the system variables be configured? What costing method will be used? Will scheduling be finite or infinite; forwards or backwards?
Determination will be made as to which data will be brought over from your current system. Procedures will be developed for the performance of day to day activities.
Typically, the settings and procedures mentioned above are preliminary. Usually, a test database is constructed in which these can be tested. Once the settings’ full effects become clear, changes can be made and testing repeated. This process helps ensure the various settings and procedures are optimal when they are later entered into the live database.
All ERP systems offer some form of native security. Those personnel administering the system will need to be trained in its security features before the test database is opened to users.
While some ERP systems use a proprietary database, virtually all systems now incorporate an open database structure. In either case, administrative personnel will need training in the database’s schema so that data can be mined and standard reports customized as needed.
Again, virtually all ERP systems include a data import utility. In all likelihood, it is this utility that will be used to migrate selected data from your current system (even if it is just a collection of disparate spreadsheets) into your new database. Your administrative personnel will need to be trained on the operation of your ERP system’s import utility.
Our fourth and final installation of this blog series will be released in just a couple of weeks. Contact us directly with any questions you may have and, as always, feel free to learn more about the different aspects and functionality of an ERP by visiting here.Posted by Craig Schrotter, CPIM, Senior Applications Engineer ProfitKey International