How to Implement Process Manufacturing ERP

OK, now you selected your new Process Manufacturing ERP solution and you are ready to start using it. Right? Wrong!

Before you even begin to install the software be sure you have the servers and connection you will need to make it work. Rolling it out to your company some day and everyone seeing how sloooooow it runs will ensure project failure.

You will need to migrate your existing data to the new process manufacturing ERP too. This is often interesting to see how many ways the same SKU is named or how many different listings you have for your best customer. There will be a lot of data cleanup to do.

Where Does Legacy Data Fit?

You also will learn that your data is incomplete for the new process manufacturing ERP system. Your old part master might have been perfectly content with eight data fields. The new one requires 14 fields and would run better with at least 50 fields completed. But you have never kept any track of some of those fifty data elements. There was never a need but now there is and someone will need to dig through whatever data you have to extract that data. This is a great time to expand your ERP implementation team to include many ad hoc members. The accounts payable clerk you assign to complete some vendor data might never use the setup screen again. But they will learn how screens and reports in the new system work together and more importantly you will have another person enthusiastically supporting the change over.

Document carefully what you can copy from the old system and where any other data came from. You will want to test the new system several times with each improvement in the data. Get users now to test whatever their own transactions are. Document how well it works or what is wrong if it doesn’t work. Run tests across users such as all the transactions from taking an order to banking the cash after your customer pays the bill. Fix what caused any errors you find. This could mean even more data to find and load. It could also be setting the parameter switches differently. Copy over your data again and run the same tests again. You likely will run these iterations many times. *Develop new tests to check out the transactions or reports you accidentally missed on previous tests. You also are testing system hardware too; will it support the number of users and transactions your process manufacturing ERP system will throw at it?

One day your testing will be as good as it will get, your training is complete, and you are ready for Go-Live.

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Tom Miller

About the author…

Tom completed implementations of Epicor, SAP, QAD, and Micro MRP. He works as a logistics and supply chain manager and he always looks for processes to improve. He lives near San Francisco Bay in California and can be found on the water in his kayak or on the road riding his motorcycle. Contact Tom at customerteam@erpfocus.com.

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Tom Miller