Implementing a new ERP solution can unlock incredible value and untold benefits for your business. Selecting the right software solution, however, is only part of the equation. Implementing an excellent piece of technology poorly will lead to failure and visa versa. Therefore, it’s important to ensure you work with an ERP vendor who not only has tried and trusted software but also tried and trusted services supported via a team of experts that will implement your ERP solution in the optimum fashion. Read on to find out more about Intact’s approach to ERP implementation.
The Intact Project Playbook
We’ve been implementing ERP solutions for businesses like yours for over 28 years. We’re always innovating and improving not only our software but also the very crucial services that we deploy to implement the software successfully in your business. Over the last few years we’ve spent a lot of time reviewing our projects, processes and speaking to our customers and the output of this is our Intact Project Playbook which is now applied to all Intact ERP projects. In this short blog we’ll introduce you to some of the fundamental aspects of our Project Playbook and the role they play in ensuring your project is a success
Best Practice Meets Your Business Requirements
On a standard Intact ERP implementation project there are 185 projects tasks to be completed. All of these tasks are captured, scheduled and monitored in Teamwork; a platform used by our project team to facilitate effective collaboration, meet deadlines and ultimately deliver the project in line with our shared expectations which are agreed at the outset of your project.
We consider your ERP implementation project in terms of its scope, complexity, and size to ensure the appropriate tasks are assigned to your project. It’s important that we adopt this tailored versus standard approach so vital tasks are included. However it’s important that we recognise that some tasks may not be appropriate to your requirements and need to be removed. This approach ensures the project remains streamlined to deliver maximum return on investment whilst remaining 100% effective in terms of goal delivery.
Your Project Plan
This process then feeds into your project plan all of which is managed in our collaborative online platform. Here our customers and the Intact project team can view and manage the project plan, key milestones, tasks, task assignment etc. It keeps everyone on track and forms the basis for our weekly project meeting with our customers. During our COVID-19 implementations, many of which were virtual, the online platforms used to facilitate our project playbook has enabled us to deliver all our 2020 ERP implementation projects successfully.
Keeping on Track
Gantt charts are also auto generated in the platform which enables the project team to visualise the project’s critical path and manage any foreseen impediments to ensure timelines are consistently and tightly controlled throughout. This is crucial when Go Live dates are set around key business milestones or events. If for some reason delays creep in early warning is vital so that the business can be prepared. This approach is prudent and is designed to enable successful Go Lives. ERP projects happen once every 8-10 years so if necessary creep is encountered a slight delay to a Go Live date should be prioritised. If not, any benefit accrued with Going Live on the agreed date may be rendered obsolete as the business was simply not ready to do so.
Your Project Manager
Your project manager keeps everyone on course. Working to your project objectives they keep everyone on track including both your Intact consultants and your team. They keep everyone focused on the end goal and use the project plan as a means to drive collaboration and alignment. They manage the customer relationship, resource scheduling, commercials, and timelines.
At Intact your relationship with your project manager starts in the pre-sale phase and runs to project close when you see your account handed over to our customer success team. Involving our project managers at an early stage adds incredible value to the project. It helps ensure expectations are set, risks are mitigated, budgets set are apt, and objectives are clearly understood. Early involvement from our project managers has resulted in improved project outcomes for all our customers.
Customer is King
In project terms that means customer engagement is King! This is your ERP system and unless you dedicate adequate resources (time, money, appropriate project team members) to the project it simply will not deliver what you expected it to. Other ERP vendors may downplay the involvement required from your team during the sales process but this is a fool’s errand. ERP systems are the baseline technology solution for your business and can drive an incredible range of benefits IF the project is implemented correctly at the start. At Intact we believe it is our job to implement an ERP solution that delivers the best version of your business. To do this we adopt an ethos of transparency and best practice from Day 1 so that we (as in the Intact and our customers’ team) have the best chance of delivering on this mission. So we will very clearly advise you as to which project team members should be included from your team, how much of their time will be required, what tasks they will need to complete and what engagement our consultants will need from your senior team, particularly during the business process review stage, to ensure your project has the best chance of delivering on its goals.
It’s important to remember that any successful ERP implementation is built on a foundation of the 3 E’s:
- Excellent Software
- Expert Services
- Engaged Customer
Where one of these falls short so will your project!
Again, this is not an area of concern or something that should stop you moving forward. If your ERP system is not fit for purpose further delays waiting for the ‘right time’ to implement may never arise, but all the while your business is being compromised as it operates with out of date or out of touch software that’s holding you back.
Just be aware that when you engage an ERP vendor it must work as a partnership to drive successful outcomes. It’s a marriage of our software to your unique business so whilst our team will take the lead it’s important to remember we’re in this together. Your project manager will clearly highlight the requirements from your team early in the project and this detail will be captured in our bespoke communication plans comprised of the following elements:
- Weekly Customer Meeting
- Project Status Report
- Steering meeting to manage any impediments or areas of risk
- UAT Status Meeting
This level of collaboration enables you to make resources available to facilitate customer tasks ensuring everything is kept on track.
Your designated project manager is your trusted advisor. They will always have the best interest of the project at heart. Availing of their expertise and guidance will ensure your company implements an ERP solution that will enable your business to operate successfully at Go Live and indeed many years down the line. While many ERP projects get tarnished with bad press related to Go Live failures, many of these can be avoided with a project team who are led by a strong project management team, adhering to tried and trusted processes supported with an expert consultant and engaged customer team.
We wish you the very best in your future ERP implementation and we hope Intact will be your chosen partner on your journey to get your business operating at it’s best.