When we started our blog series on 'ERP Management Implementation Tips Every Manufacturer Should Know', we originally had four installations in mind. Nearing the end of the series, we realized we didn't want to leave you hanging post-implementation and make sure we had covered enough for you to be comfortable even after the conclusion of this blog series, just as you should feel in post-implementation.
Preparing Your Data Should Not Be Like Ripping Out Your Own Hair
Thus far, we have covered your implementation team (part 1)
, a complete workflow review (part 2)
, and installation and training (part 3)
. This fourth installment will take a deep look into your current database and what to expect to prepare to ensure your data has legs and can be effective right out of the gate.
Import of initial data into the test database may be your responsibility; it may be handled completely by your ERP provider, or it may be a cooperative effort.
The import into the test database is typically performed shortly after the software is installed for use during training and practice. The import into the live database is usually performed just prior to going live.
The import into the test database will likely not be as robust as that into the live version. For example, you may choose to omit much of the dynamic data, discussed below, preferring to enter them as training exercises.
The following types of data are typical of most ERP systems and are usually contained in discrete tables. Static data are those often referred to as master files – those that, once entered, do not usually change. Dynamic data are those that change regularly, such as sales orders, purchase orders and so on.
- Alternate purchasing addresses
- Customer alternate bill-to addresses
- Customer alternate ship-to addresses
- Extended item description data
- Item-vendor relationship data
- Routing notes or specific instructions for each operation
- General ledger accounts 1
- General ledger account structure
General ledger account balances are generally not imported.
They should be entered using GL transactions to establish an audit trail.
A strategy for populating the databases with dynamic data will be developed by the team and the AE together. These data are typically manually entered, but they can often be imported instead, depending on the capabilities of your ERP system’s import utility.
- Inventory item-location-quantity data 2
The best methodology for populating inventory-location quantities depends on the costing method selected. If neither LIFO nor FIFO is being used, a direct import will suffice. If either LIFO or FIFO has been chosen, values must be populated using adjustments.
Adjustments are required under LIFO and FIFO because they allow the LIFO/FIFO initialization to create cost occurrence records which do not exist in other costing methods. These records are used to distribute costs to orders in the proper sequence when materials are issued. While not required for costing methods other than LIFO and FIFO, adjustments can certainly be used. They have the advantage of creating a transaction that can be used for auditing purposes.
Adjustments can be entered in either of two ways. They can be made manually, or a physical inventory can be performed. In most ERP systems, this will automatically create adjustments based on physical count entries.
If work orders from the current system will be entered into the database, inventory quantities imported or adjusted into the new system should be overstated to include the materials issued to those work orders in the current system. Then, once the work orders are entered, the required materials should be issued to them. This results in correct inventory quantities as well as correct material costs in the work orders (WIP).
Installation #5, and we promise this time it will be the final, will cover what you will need at the end of the implementation, what you will need moving forward vs. possible options, and who will be be responsible for what. YOUR implementation is only as strong as the team you assemble to manage it.
Written by Craig Schrotter, CPIM, Senior Applications EngineerProfitKey International