Given today's economic climate, the prospect of implementing a new ERP system can be especially daunting. Some customers look at an implementation budget and think "We can do a lot of this ourselves." Their reasoning is seemingly sound: doing it ourselves saves us from spending money on consultants.
However, implementing an ERP system is not a simple process. If it were, we wouldn't be in business. But that's not to say it can't be done. We have seen examples of new customers successfully completing major implementation tasks such as data migration, system configuration and testing. But we have also seen many new customers that weren't nearly as successful.
So how can a customer pull off a DIY implementation? First, understand that a DIY implementation still requires some outside assistance. But that assistance can be minimized if the customer can devote two basic elements to the project: time and resources.
Time Requirements: implementing an ERP system can take a significant amount of time and it usually takes more time than most people expect, especially when data migration is involved. Many people don't realize how much effort can go into exporting, reviewing, editing and cleaning up lists of accounts, vendors, customers, inventory items and fixed assets. Additionally, after the data is successfully migrated, there's the matter of testing the data in the new system through processing transactions, printing reports and verifying results.
Resources: given the time it takes to configure the system, migrate data, test processing and verify results, how many people can devote a lot of time to those tasks? Can the tasks be divided among several people? If so, who is in charge of it all? Will you have support from your IT group and from your company’s management?
Successful DIY implementations require:
o A project manager who can oversee all elements of the process
o A dedicated team of project stakeholders who can devote the appropriate time to the project tasks
o Full support of the IT staff to handle various technical issues with installations and migrations
o Full support of company’s management
Customers that recognize these requirements up front and have strong internal leadership can have a successful DIY implementation. But for those customers that just don't have the time or resources (and that's most of them), we're here to help.