Investing in a new ERP system

Reference story from Häggbergs AB in Sweden

It requires an investment to change the business. In terms of more efficient workflows and tools for more efficient operation - not just in money but also in changing procedures and in new ways to work together.

The benefits that a new administrative IT system provides has a price - of course. A unique system specially developed for the industry, does not make the price smaller, but the dividend is bigger.

 

Why do we want a new ERP system?

You should always be confident about what you want to achieve when investing in a new IT system - whether it is the company's first IT system or whether it is replacing an existing one. If you manage your success criteria, you will be able to measure whether it has been worth the investment. You have something to hold it up against and it is therefore important to consider what you wish to achieve with the investment.

Examples of success criteria

  • Simplify workflows
  • Increase billing rate
  • Increase overview of machine stores, transactions, and spare parts
  • Ensure better reporting to management
  • More modern tools
  • Possibility of home work space
  • Increase integration to suppliers / payment services, etc.

It is important that the success criteria are formulated as operationally and concretely as possible, so that you can easily measure whether the goal is reached.

 

Which procedures should be made?

Motivation

It is of great importance for the success of the project that all involved employees are involved in the process - preferably from the time when the decision has been made. It is the employee's ownership and motivation that determines whether the project will be successful. A new smart ERP system is not smart unless used.

How do we ensure that employees are positive about a change in their routines? What challenges will the employees meet and what reasons will they possibly have to counteract the changes?

For example, if the creator is not motivated for the use of IT, it may be advantageous to appoint someone else from the workshop to be the superuser for that department.

Change management

It can be crucial to speak with all employee groups and give them the opportunity to express what they want to achieve with the change to the new IT system or whether they have special circumstances that are desired to be taken into account. In this way, they will be motivated to take ownership of the work to be carried out.

In order not to create a divide in the staff, it is important to get everyone involved, so that they have the opportunity to relate to the goals to be achieved with the new system.

Information

Clear division of responsibilities between project managers, super users and users is important. This can have a motivating effect on employees if the schedule of tasks and dates has been reviewed with each point in the plan and the employees must be informed continuously of the progress of the process. It is important to celebrate the tasks that have been solved and what has gone well. The time spent on good organization, communication and motivation - as well as thorough meetings with the supplier is well-given.

 

How should the changes be implemented?

It is important that the staff is educated in the use of the new IT system. In connection with the supplier's recommended spending on courses, it is often seen that the customer's decision makers will be adversely motivated for the purchase if a comprehensive education program is presented. Therefore, education is often underestimated and the result may be unmotivated users, dissatisfied management, delinquent providers, inefficient use of the system and low motivation. The return on investment may be too low.

Of course, employees cannot learn everything about the system when it comes to basic courses. You remember a maximum of 30% of what you have learned. Only when you have used the system for some time most people are able to really accept learning.

We recommend that you consider the following elements of education:

  • Sample conversion with testing of the most important daily procedures
  • Basic courses for all employees
  • Consultancy assistance at start-up of operation
  • Consultancy assistance at the first terminations
  • Further training after 3-6 months
  • Ongoing education
     

Accountant Assistance?

It is a good idea to establish contact between the accountant, accountant / finance manager and IT supplier early in the project process. It is important that good cooperation has been reached when discussing changes in the accounting plan, reporting, inventory and depreciation. If not it may result in a long period of inappropriate posting, which will subsequently be time consuming to rectify.

 

What can the machine dealer expect from the IT provider?

The supplier designates a project manager who

  • compiles the project plan
  • controls plans and deviation reports
  • informs the machine dealer about the process
  • bills continuously
  • coordinates tasks and resources

The supplier will make sure that the machine dealer reaches the goals set for the project's implementation.

 

What does the IT supplier expect from the machine dealer?

The machine dealer

  • establishes a project organization with clear assignment and responsibility allocations
  • finds the right people to be project managers and super users
  • designates a Project Manager who involves and informs employees continuously
  • allocates the necessary resources in terms of time and money
  • involves the auditor
  • accepts that a new IT system is hard work and frustration
  • is willing to tackle the conflicts that may arise

 

 

 

 

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