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The Role of Professional Technical Consultants in your ERP Project

By Sachot Jean-Baptiste, 11:00 AM on October 25, 2016

You want to adapt your business to the economic context and commit yourself to the digital transformation that everybody's talking about at the moment. Amongst other things, this transformation involves choosing to deploy a new management platform, or ERP, at the centre of your information system. As part of this process, you are the project owner and your future partner is the project manager.

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This kind of project is usually long-term in nature and requires the setting up of suitable processes and an organisation, which entail the commitment of resources.

You will find that the services of a professional technical consultant to assist you are truly worth their weight in gold. Your employees' natural resistance to change needs to be broken down bit by bit using tried and tested tools and methods to gradually get them onside.

Communication, the most important part of the process  

Communication must be clear, reassuring and informative The change and the way it will be rolled out must be communicated to all staff, who will be worried about being moved out of their comfort zone by having to learn to use a new tool.

Your message must be reassuring and tackle all the anxiety-inducing ambiguities, particularly in relation to the presence of outside contractors: "We are implementing a new ERP system and you will notice the presence on our premises of our publisher's referent project manager." You need to explain the different stages, particularly the setting-up phases, and make sure staff are involved: "You will be invited to training workshops on the applications and we really need your feedback."

The different stages in changing to an ERP  

  • 1/ Informing staff.
  • 2/ Organising meetings.
  • 3/ Announcing the roll-out by email or other internal communication method.
  • 4/ Organising training.
  • 5/ Developing a test environment to promote mastery of the tool.

When will training of the teams be complete?  

When the old system is deactivated and replaced for good by the new ERP and when staff have abandoned their old working practices. However, less full-on, continuous training must be organised to help staff get to grips with newer versions.

The role of technical consultants in driving the change and training

Akuiteo strongly recommends that the management of change should be entrusted to an external consultant and expert adviser.

The consequences of this kind of change within an organisation require professional management, for example, to reassure a member of staff who may have been working with the same, but not particularly ergonomic, IT system for 30 years. Staff who are currently compensating for the obsolescence the old system by their work, also need to be reassured. It's natural for them to feel threatened by the arrival of the new software. You also need to plan for the conversion and reorganisation of work stations.

Lastly, an efficient ERP represents a big investment, the optimisation of which depends directly on staff having full mastery of it. A professional technical consultant will be able to guide you through this transformation and play the role of interpreter between operational staff and the 'techies'. The consultant will work in tandem with the project manager (the software publisher/integrator) to guarantee delivery of a solution that meets the company's needs.

 

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