Three Key Things to Keep in Mind During Software Implementation
Implementing a holistic software solution into your cleaning or security business is a lot like most big undertakings — the first steps are the hardest.
Although investing in enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is a lot of work, the value added to your company in the long run makes the process worth it. Companies with a successfully deployed holistic software system can access a seamless flow of integrated data, which allows corporate leadership to have total visibility of company operations. And employees experience improved collaboration and workflows resulting from streamlined processes.
We know a complete, integrated ERP implementation across your company is no small feat. This especially holds true when the software is tailored to meet the fine-tuned needs of specialized industries like cleaning and security contractors. Here are three key things to consider when setting necessary expectations and commitments for a smooth software launch.
Know your goals
Before you begin implementation, it’s important to understand your own goals. Whether you need to streamline processes, improve data accuracy, reduce long-term costs or prep your company for continued growth, keeping your strategic goals top-of-mind helps drive each decision you make along the way and keep you on track. Also consider who needs to be involved in the implementation process and the scope of needs unique to your business. Implementation requires active engagement from both you and your software provider to ensure effective deployment.
Understand the process and timeline
Implementation can be broken down into core setup, data entry and training phases, with each phase requiring ample commitment from both sides of the table to keep the process moving forward. When completing a statement of work and setting go-live dates, your implementation team should be carving out resources and availability to dedicate to the implementation and committing to sessions, trainings and tasks. And it’s best to do that early on. Attendance and attention in weekly sessions are key, as cancellations, missed homework and moving deadlines interrupt the mapped schedule, directly impacting your go-live date.
Setting a realistic expectation is perhaps the biggest key in a successful implementation experience since this translates directly into the build out of an implementation timeline. Identify a project manager within the company to take the lead on creating your timeline. The length of a typical software implementation varies greatly depending on circumstances. According to a report from Panorama Consulting, a third of organizations implementing an ERP solution exceed their original timeline, with their actual timeline lasting 16 months. When setting a go-live date, avoid overruns by considering the complexities of your specific business needs and allowing time for uncontrollable variables like new hires.
Know that ERP implementation is a hard first step, but one that benefits your business into the future. The work your company is putting towards a software solution contributes to long-term benefits like better data visibility and sharing, improved productivity and efficiency, cost controls and better decision making.
For more information on successful implementation, including the importance of choosing the right implementation partner, download The Keys to Successfully Implementing a Holistic Software for your Cleaning or Security Business white paper.