Every year you probably hear about the latest & greatest version of your existing ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Software. You get emails, see demonstrations on-line, and attend conferences showing you the latest and greatest ERP products available. Could you upgrade? Should you upgrade? Will you upgrade? When is the right time? Can you answer the following questions?
· How often should my business upgrade our software systems?
· How often do we review release levels of our business systems?
· How current do my customers, vendors and employees need us to be?
· What new functionality is available and how can it bring value to the organization?
· Do we need new hardware?
· Is there real value in upgrading?
Your business needs to keep up with current technology, but you have to be smart and do it right! How prepared are you and your team to take on an upgrade project? Is it a simple or overwhelming task?
Here are some key considerations while you move forward:
Determine the scope of the project.
How many versions (and years) did you skip? That number, factoring the number of years since the last upgrade, can help you determine this. Gather the documentation for the software that reveals what has changed and review it to determine what new functionality and technologies you would want to include in your project. Do you need help figuring out what the scope of the project will be?
Don’t attempt an ERP upgrade the same way you would an MS Office Upgrade. There is more to upgrading than just learning the new version of the software. You make great products. You manage your business efficiently. Make sure you have the right people, skillsets, plans and schedules in place to properly manage your upgrade. You make great products but do you manage software projects efficiently? Will you need help making sure you have all of your bases covered?
Organizational Change Management
How much is changing? How many employees are affected? Don’t let training and managing change be an afterthought. If you are adding new functionality or new software modules then follow a proven upgrade and implementation methodology. Don’t expect employees to properly use the new software without proper planning, training and piloting. Don’t you need help assessing new efficiencies and implementing change?
Test, Test, Test!
No matter what, test the new version well. Perform multiple database conversions and run a full pilot after each one. Test all of your processes. Prove that you are ready and go-live with confidence. Wouldn’t you like some help building a solid pilot script so your processes are fully tested?
Modification Analysis and Plan
If your software is modified, ensure you have a complete understanding of what needs to be upgraded (or is replaced by new functionality). Each upgraded or new change needs to be fully tested. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a specialist work with you so you have clear expectations and confidence in these new extensions?
No matter who your vendor is, make sure they have the expertise, experience and available assets to support you. Do they have your best interests in mind and understand your organization’s long term vision?
For Godlan’s clients, we see your upgrade as a critical milestone in our business relationship and we want you to be successful. We have completed hundreds of successful upgrade projects and have the technical, software and business expertise to help ensure that success. We offer all levels of support. Will you take advantage of this experience at that right times during the process?
There are many considerations when deciding to upgrade your ERP or completely replace it. In the end, be sure you are using a product that makes upgrading easy and working with a partner that understands your business.
SyteLine ERP can store customizations as metadata, and can carry them forward in version upgrades – making the process much easier than traditional highly customized ERP systems. If you’re not on SyteLine today, you will want to consider it as you move forward in your ERP planning.
If you are upgrading and plan to go-it alone, keep our number handy! 586-464-4400