Power Systems West is an authorized KOHLER Generator dealer and service provider in seven Western states.
Multiple solutions and tools were used during this ERP implementation project, they include:
Scope of Work
Core Team Tracker
User Acceptance Testing and Tracking
Issue and Resolution Tracking
Risk and Risk Mitigation Tracking
Communication Plan and Tracking
An ERP was selected through a previous AJC & Power Systems West system selection project. This new ERP would be utilized across the entire company which included five separate branches throughout the region. The new system would be used to optimize efficiency and bring processes outside of the current ERP into the new system.
Five different branches across the company will be utilizing a new system that will need to be configured to align with processes while simultaneously working on process improvement throughout implementation. There needed to be a way to track project collaboration, timelines, and hold the internal team as well as the ERP vendor team accountable.
“The AJC project management was instrumental in our team meeting our deadline.”Brad Lyons – President
Figuring Out the Solution
PSW partnered with AJC to kick off the ERP Implementation project. From there a Core Team that incorporated stakeholders from all branches and departments was created to ensure representation from all areas. The AJC PM set up a project tracker to consolidate all project activities and communication to ensure the project stayed on track while keeping the team accountable.
Goal 1: Document scope of work and set a timeline
At the beginning of the project, AJC worked with representatives from each department across multiple branches to confirm the scope of work, configurations and any potential customizations that were necessary for the company to optimize use of the ERP. Together AJC and PSW worked with the ERP vendor to set a timeline with tasks and milestones to meet what was set out in the scope of work for a successful Go Live.
Goal 2: Create a Core Team and identify Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
The Core Team established for the ERP implementation project represented different departments and different branches of the company. Core Team members were champions for the implementation and helped keep their teams accountable and identified risks throughout the project. Subject Matter Experts were also identified to represent their areas of expertise and help ensure that system configurations and processes were set up in alignment with critical business needs. The AJC PM had significant experience in operational processes as well, and was able to wear a second hat by facilitating Process Mapping sessions with the Core Team to thoroughly articulate the businesses’ critical process needs.
Goal 3: Track project work
The Core Team, lead by the AJC PM, used a project team tracker to track all aspects of the project. The tracker allowed for tracking attendance to meetings, tasks and ownership, due dates and milestones, risks and mitigations, employee readiness, issues and resolutions, training, along with other project components. Having one consolidated place to track progress of the project made it easy to check in and allowed everyone access to see task status and when things were due.
Goal 4: Communicate!
Communication is imperative to a successful ERP implementation. From the beginning, the AJC PM set regular team meetings both internally and with vendor representatives. The Core Team met regularly and communicated progress and risks as well as collaborated outside of meetings to make sure work was being completed.
Internal communication went out to the company regularly to ensure all employees knew about the new system and the accompanied changes. Communication was clear during training and allowed for everyone to prepare for the new system and communicate issues when they arose. The goal was for no one to be surprised when the new system went live!
Goal 5: Test and Document Bugs
The Core Team, aided by the AJC PM, identified and documented user test cases to make sure the system could be utilized as needed for tasks and processes across departments. During user acceptance testing (UAT) and go live simulations we were able to test processes in the ERP sandbox and identify any areas where the system did not work as it should. These issues were reported to the vendor until they were resolved, then the AJC PM coordinating re-testing the solutions to ensure that new bugs didn’t show up with the fixes.
Goal 6: Celebration and Hypercare
It is important to celebrate once the new system is live! A lot of time, hard work and collaboration went into getting the new system to a point where it is live, and people are able to use it successfully. After Go Live it is common to run into new bugs and there may still be low impact issues that are left over from before Go Live. During the period of hypercare, the AJC PM made sure to document new issues and escalate them to the vendor as well as continue to follow up on previously known issues.
Without Andrea Jones Consulting, LLC, none of the accomplishments were possible.Brad Lyons – President
Implementing an ERP system is a large undertaking for any organization. The AJC and PSW team worked together to ensure the system was set up in a way that worked for everyone and met best practices throughout. As with any ERP implementation there are always bumps in the road but being able to document and communicate through issues helped keep the project on track. Throughout the entire project PSW focused on process improvement and that mindset has carried on after the system went live. This is a great way to continuously improve on a new system to keep it as effective as possible at all times.