Ensuring a software rollout is done smoothly has nothing to do with magic. Instead, thorough planning and preparation can go a long way. Having a solid strategy and understanding your company’s needs is key as is employee buy-in.
Just a few years ago, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software was something only large companies would consider. As more of these services have moved to the cloud and become available as software-as-a-service (SaaS), more and more small and medium-sized businesses are taking advantage. The considerations for any business thinking about bringing ERP software to their business are similar.
1. Set Specific Goals
Choosing the most suitable software for your organization is not possible without understanding what exactly the business needs. Which tasks does the software need to perform? Where are the problem areas, and how can ERP software help solve those problems?
The answers to these questions will inform the goals of your rollout. With goals specified, it is important to set timelines and define individual steps of the preparation and the rollout process.
2. Connect With All Stakeholders
Depending on the size of your organization, you may need to secure support from a handful of stakeholders or a few hundred. Your finance team is among those stakeholders: they will need to see the predicted return-on-investment (ROI) before committing funds to the project.
More likely, though, your most important group of stakeholders are the people expected to use the software daily. Depending on your objectives, this may be one department or potentially your whole workforce.
Ensuring that the relevant teams understand the benefits of the new tool over the potential pitfalls of the transition is one of the main considerations in the process. Senior management support is another key consideration.
3. Choose Your Software Wisely
Your current requirements may be limited. However, choosing your software should be based on your vision for the business. Ideally, you commit to a product that can grow and expand with the organization.
By doing that, you help future-proof your business. You also avoid more costly purchases and re-training your staff. Take your time with this part of the process. It is worth comparing several products and weighing their pros and cons.
When it comes to bookkeeping and accounting software, for example, QuickBooks is one of the choices with enterprise resource planning software that is easy to use and avoids the complexities of larger ERPs. At the same time, the software offers a wide range of critical functions, especially in the Enterprise version.
4. Plan for Follow-Up through Multiple Communication Mediums
Even the best-planned rollouts will hit snagging issues during the implementation. When that happens, it is important to be patient and have support available to your entire team. Live chat is a great option as well as a user forum. If your company operates across different time zones, ensure that ad hoc support is ready whenever your team needs it.
Ensure you get feedback from your team by sending out weekly email requests. If that’s not successful, consider offering incentives such as gift certificates for employees who share issues they’re experiencing. You could even catch the attention of your team by adding an online flyer encouraging them to participate. You can create custom flyers by using an online flyer maker like Adobe Spark or Canva. Simply choose from a library of customizable templates and edit the color, font, and text.
Preparing for a successful and smooth software rollout takes time and careful consideration. It is worth working with colleagues from different levels of your organization. Giving those expected to use the new software a chance to contribute from an early stage is a great way of customizing your software. It also helps secure support right from the start.
For more information or help with your business, you can always contact FRAMCO!