It is that time of year. You may think beginning of summer or end of school, but I am thinking about something else. Wedding season. June is one of the most popular months for a Wedding.
It got me thinking how a wedding and a Visual ERP implementation are very similar. How can that be? Well, both require a lot of planning. The planning could take as little as a couple of months (my niece planned her wedding in 10 weeks and it was fabulous). But another niece took a year to plan another spectacular wedding.
Now what about Visual ERP? There is a lot of planning and hard work with any Visual ERP implementation or re-implementation. There are lots of decisions. What are all the cool aspects of Visual you plan to use? Who will be responsible for different aspects of the project? How do you want to use the 1,000’s of fields in Visual ERP. You will more than likely need help from your consulting team. Kind of like my Dad taking dance lessons before my parents got married. He didn’t know how, so he asked an expert. Then he practiced. Just like you practicing using Visual ERP. You keep working at it because you want everything to be perfect. Any good implementation requires at least 2 or more ideally 3 pilots or test runs.
Then there is the rehearsal. For a wedding, it is typically the night before. For Visual ERP it should include a mock go live. All your maintenance files need to be loaded. All the beginning balances (inventory, customer orders, purchase orders, work orders) would be loaded for the operations folks. The accountants need Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, bank info and Trial balance. All of these need to be matched from the old system to the new.
And then comes the big day. If your planning has gone well, there are no hiccups. Or at least nothing catastrophic. I don’t know about you, but I can feel the stress. When the wedding day or go-live weekend is done, there is a sigh of relief. You did it. Yippee!!
Next, it’s the honeymoon phase. Things are new, fresh and exciting. There is a lot of attention to details. The couple is giving each other their undivided attention. With Visual ERP, the company is concentrating on making things work well. A lot of time, effort and money has been invested.
But like some marriages after a while, the couple takes each other for granted. It becomes the same thing, day after day. Visual can get like that too. The users get into a groove and use Visual the same everyday. Sometimes they are too busy too look for better ways or they have been lulled into “that’s just the way it is”. So similar to a marriage, is it time to spice things up a bit? Maybe the marriage requires a date night or a romantic getaway. Does your Visual ERP need a date night?
Let’s see what that could look like. Could you have a weekly or bi-weekly meeting of the management team on the status of your Visual ERP? Think about the different aspects of Visual that you may not have implemented yet. Have you started using activities to enhance the communication around Visual? Or how about using Dashboards? Or Customer & Vendor groups? There are so many options available.
Here’s some other ideas:
- Do “lunch and learn”. Have a user present some aspect of Visual they think is really cool.
- Or it could be just a time to chat. I always find a glass of wine helps the chats with my husband but that may not be appropriate in your work environment. But you get the gist. Get a few users together and listen to their ideas and frustrations. There are always better ways.
- Or send a user or two to local users’ group, external training (check out our course offerings at backtobasics.ca) or conferences like Visual Focus. There is nothing like a change of scenery to revitalize things. When the users get back to the office, they could share things at your “lunch and learn” sessions.
I hope you don’t think that this is too much work. Ponder this. Is it cheaper to keep your current spouse than to get a new one? It is far less expensive to keep your current ERP. Give it a little TLC, I hope you will be amazed at how good things can be.
And I would love for everyone to share their ideas and successes of how they have spiced things up with Visual ERP.