ERP implementation marathon

Oracle NetSuite

ERP implementation is a Marathon

4apps group, 1 November 2022

In a previous blog on business processes, we established that automation isn’t always advisable. So, similarly, in this article we’re going to talk about how speed isn’t always preferable either, especially with ERP implementation

Now in an ideal world, it would be possible to do everything quickly without compromising on accuracy or quality. However,in reality this is not possible. And that’s why we want to emphasise that implementing ERP cycles related to NetSuite should be viewed as a marathon, not a sprint.

NetSuite ERP implementation conducted at a fast pace might seem to be affordable initially, but in the long run it will turn out to be false economy. If you don’t execute this process steadily, you (and your team)  won’t be familiar with the system, and this will cause problems that far outweigh the trivial savings that might be possible from implementing quickly. It’s important to work out how you will customise software, so that data can be migrated effectively.

ERP Implementation in stages

We always recommend that implementation should involve stages. You should do it step-by-step, just as if you’re running a marathon. We all know that if you’re competing in a marathon and you rush ahead at the beginning, it’s ultimately going to count against you. Sprinting might get you off to a great start, but you’ll have to deal with the consequences later on, and they will outweigh the initial spurt.

While an ERP implementation is taking place, there are going to be some slow processes that take time and attention. Just as when you run a marathon, not every mile is going to fly by. Sometimes you have to take your time. And you must be willing to do this, if you want the best results possible.

Fit-Gap Analysis

For example, one aspect of implementation that we usually use is a Fit-Gap analysis. This enables both the client and ourselves to identify any new systems or processes that may not fit the needs of the organisation. And what we usually find is that a routine, standard ERP implementation is not possible. If we sprint ahead with such an approach, it will only cause problems, as there are aspects of the process that require non-standard functionality, which will require time to implement. 

Fit-Gap analysis tells us that if we do not do these things, the implementation ultimately won’t work as it is needed, and the whole process will, essentially, be unsuccessful. So it’s not possible in most scenarios to simply plough ahead as quickly as possible, as processes are involved that are impossible to predict, and that need attention and care.

Critical Testing

In accordance with this, we also consider testing to be really important. Implementing the system is one thing, but ensuring that it works is also vital. In fact, we directly involve clients with the testing process, and ask them to conduct their own tests. This can take at least two weeks, and maybe as many as four weeks to carry out, but it often reveals critical problems. This can then result in the implementation being postponed to address these. 

But this is hugely preferable to failing to uncover these things in the first place. And this is exactly what will happen if we don’t schedule the time to test. That’s why we always emphasise that implementation is not to be hurried, not to be sprinted through, and that slow and steady will always win this particular race.

If you’d like to know more about how 4apps can assist you with ERP implementation, please contact us today.