The Importance of ImplementationOctober 23rd, 2014
So you’ve done your research and decided on a new inventory management system. Now what? How do you reap the ROI you know a good inventory system can provide?
The following 5 tips will help your smooth the transition to your new system.
1. Training, training, training! Knowing how to use your new system is essential to gaining the confidence in your transition. You and your team must feel comfortable that when you make the switch you will know what to expect and what to do. Training can be provided via online web sessions, on-site visits or knowledgebase manuals or videos.
2. Assign a champion. Change is hard. Getting your team to change how they have been doing things for years has a tremendous amount of inertia. Assigning a champion to lead the transition is critical to getting positive results. Communication will be much clearer both internally and with your vendor. A strong champion can make implementation run much more smoothly.
3. Rely on your vendor. Vendors have done this before. Yes your business is different and has unique needs. Your vendor is the expert in their system. They have worked with hundreds of other companies through this process. Lean on them. Make sure you have a project manager assigned to you and you know the escalation path if things aren’t getting done in an acceptable or timely manner.
4. Meet internally during the first few days of the transition for daily debriefings. Identifying issues early give you and your vendor time to make adjustments. It is also a time when staff can train staff (maybe one person knows how to do something another had forgotten). This is also an opportunity to create a list of questions to bring to your vendor.
5. Commit. When you decide to invest in streamlining your business operations you need to fully commit to the switch. Some initial growing pains are often expected. This is no time to get cold feet. Have faith in your team and in the solution. It takes 21 days to develop new habits. Your team has been doing things “the old way” for how long? Give them a few weeks to get the new system implemented.
Bonus: Get help. Your vendor will often have implementation teams or professional services that can help do all the “mundane” and critically important tasks, such as data migration. Don’t think you’re in this alone. Lean on this help. Many companies can provide this support remotely or on-site, depending on needs and budgets.