Maxxton | 16 February 2022

Implementation

Change is never easy and switching to a new solution is a significant step for any company. It is important to focus on creating conditions to reduce costs, improve efficiency and establish growth, just to name a few advantages. The implementation of an ERP solution requires special attention. Complexities often arise as a result of trying to align a company with a new software solution. You should only implement a new ERP solution in close consultation with your software supplier to ensure that your organisation continues its operations with reduced disruption. Make sure that expert consultants and implementation managers see to it that all the steps in the implementation process are well-coordinated and rolled out smoothly.

Method

You can only achieve your ambitions with a software solution that connects seamlessly with your organisation and activities. Therefore, a well-coordinated implementation process is essential. Your business processes should be closely assessed and synchronised with your current and future requirements and the options you have available. Once the business processes have been assessed, together with the software supplier you prepare a clear plan to specify the delivery date of each component. Additionally, you appoint the expert who will be resposible for the implementation. It is important to rely on a ticket system (e.g. Jira) to promote clear and transparent communication in order to ensure that all parties are constantly informed during the process.

Implementation team

During the implementation, you put an implementation team together consisting of professionals from various disciplines and with a thorough collective understanding of your business processes. As the implementation advances, meetings take place between the implementation team from your organisation and the software supplier implementation team. The software supplier implementation manager acts as your contact person throughout the process and thereafter. The software supplier implementation team also comprises various other specialists, including experts dealing with configuration issues, a front office expert, housekeeping and technical staff and a specialist in financial processes. We assign these specialists in accordance with the level of customisation you require.

After the first meeting between your implementation team and the software supplier’s, the configuration process is initiated. Subsequent communication takes place mainly between the configuration specialists from both organizations. The implementation manager is continuously updated on progress and potential issues. Once the configuration has been satisfactorily completed, the configuration specialist fades into the background and other specialists take over, each in turn.

Design Phase

For a successful Implementation you first start with a design phase. There are several reasons to do so.

  1. Successful feature assessment of software supplier:
    1. Current (‘IST’) and needed (‘SOLL’) business processes documented to make a GAP analysis
    2. Critical software development (if any) identified and documented
  2. Establish great starting point to do the implementation:
    1. Knowledgeable on supplier’s software
    2. Knowledgeable on your business processes
    3. Established working relationship between people
    4. Clear Implementation scope and plan
  3. Exciting opportunity pipeline not critical for go live, for example:
    1. Interfaces with new resellers
    2. Revenue management solutions
    3. Interfaces with Marketing tools, etc.
Training and instructions

Make sure that the software supplier organises training sessions for the members of your implementation team throughout the implementation phase. Your staff can also attend these sessions, even after you have taken the software system into operation. The subjects to be dealt with are determined on the basis of your requirements and can range from how to work with specific modules or how to operate the system after specific features have been expanded. The sessions can be held at your location or at the software supplier’s location. If necessary, make sure that the software supplier can even provide online training and instructions for your employees.

Lead time

The implementation of software as an integrated solution for your organisation is a process that obviously requires care and attention. Expect a minimum lead time of 6 months to ensure that the switch to your new software is well-coordinated and successful. All depending on the complexity of your organization and the features you require, the implementation process can last up to 18 months. The duration of the process of analysis, planning, development, testing, and going live depend on:

  • the size of your organisation
  • the complexity of your organisation and your activities
  • new features that need to be developed
  • the links to/connectivity with internal and external systems
  • your requirements and capacity in terms of implementation speed, for example, the availability of your staff involved in the implementation process
10 Tips for a smooth implementation
  1. Put together an expert implementation team with people who are familiar with the various business processes of your organisation.
  2. Make sure that these people have sufficient time available for implementation. Temporarily assign some of their regular duties to others.
  3. Make an inventory of current business processes.
  4. Assess the need for new features.
  5. Start gathering all configuration data in advance. This forms an important base for an effective systems structure.
  6. Always focus on one aspect of the implementation at a time (or two if you are dealing with different members of your implementation team).
  7. Consult the Jira ticket system dashboard several times a day for tickets that require input from you and/or your employees in order to avoid delay.
  8. Attend meetings and group calls as often as possible, as this is how information is often disclosed.
  9. Use ‘real’ data (e.g. bookings) to test the configuration and features. This will reveal potential undesired discrepancies or defects and give you enough time to resolve them before the ‘go-live’ date.
  10. Take enough time for the entire implementation and set a realistic ‘go-live’ date after a thorough assessment.

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    Maxxton | 16 February 2022
    Global provider of market-leading hospitality software-as-a-service for the large vacation & short-term rental industry.
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