Process Manufacturing ERP: The Go-Live Rollercoaster Ride

It is now Monday, go-live day. Flip the switch and all your people are using your new process manufacturing ERP!

Actually, it is better to flip the switch over a weekend or dead day before everyone will rely on the new ERP. Unless, there is no one named Murphy working or even visiting your business. We all know Murphy’s Law! You did change over the weekend before go-live and you did get a few minor glitches fixed.

There certainly will be a few more glitches when everyone is working hard writing new sales orders and shipping out product from within the process manufacturing ERP system. You did a good job of ERP testing so new issues are few and easily corrected. You will hold somebody’s hand while they try some transaction they already tested a hundred times.

You did great work up to now and the system is working like expected. There are still some issues you are working on. You have identified some issues or improvements you would like but chose to defer them until after your new ERP is running.

It is time to party! Get everyone together and praise everyone who worked on the implementation in any way. Pass out bonus money or other attaboys as needed. But don’t let you or your team become complacent. Process manufacturing ERP go-live will have many great successes. At other times it will leave you wanting to empty your stomach.

You had goals for the ERP. Is the system delivering? How does the yield compare to pre-implementation, as well as your expectations for go-live?Measure. Measure. Measure. Find the root cause of any shortfalls by tracking key ERP performance metrics. How is quality control performing? Measure again. When you are meeting your measurements, think about what you could still improve now that this wonderful new system is in place. Keep improving. You now know some of what you didn’t know you didn’t know in the recent past. Is there additional functionality which is required? Can the new one be extended to fill the new perceived want?

Your ERP was very expensive in money terms and in resources required to get it working. But it is still only a tool you will use to satisfy your customers and your goals. Because of this, go-live will never be the end of your ERP implementation. The bugs, the problems, the requests, they will all continue bombarding your team from all angles - customer, supplier, users, c-level. Be prepared.

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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

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Tom Miller

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