4 tips for a remote ERP implementation

During times of economic downturn, it’s more important than ever for companies to be agile and adapt to suit everchanging circumstances.

Written by Alan Laing. First published by IFS on blog.ifs.com November 3rd 2020.

Covid-19 has resulted in an increased focus on business resilience, with businesses looking for robust tools that flex in uncertain times, those that will inevitably help them be more efficient and grow as well as whether the current situation. With remote ERP implementation, companies can continue their digital transformation journey and ensure they are ready to thrive when the time comes.

Some companies feared that they would be unable to manage their IT projects without a physical presence on site. Yet, experience has demonstrated that this is not the case—even complex projects such as an ERP implementation can be carried out without an on-site presence.

Of course, an ERP implementation can’t be transferred to the virtual space without some necessary adjustments. But if companies pay attention to a few key points, they’ll be able to implement an ERP project according to plan without in-person meetings and on-site support. IFS, the global provider of enterprise applications, offers four tips for successful remote implementation.

1. A digital mindset

The digital transformation begins in the mind—not only to suit the “work-from-home” mentality, but to keep up with the constant shifts in technology we experience day to day. Employees with a digital mindset are not only open to new technologies, but they are agile and adapt quickly to new processes. They are also acutely aware of the fantastic opportunities digitization brings in both their work and personal life. For employees that adopt a digital mindset, the motto is “digital first”. They are therefore essential for remote implementation and companies should promote these employees across the organization and make targeted use of their knowledge, skills and willingness to engage.

2. The right collaboration tools

Suppliers and companies should jointly consider which technical tools are necessary at an early stage, so that all those involved can successfully implement the project at all stages. This includes suitable communication and collaboration tools to facilitate virtual meetings and training as well as for sharing necessary documents and content. Acting as a hub for both consultants and customers, these tools should be intuitively usable. If the correct technical framework is available at the outset of the project, stakeholders can concentrate fully on their tasks and ensure smooth delivery.

3. Align training to “online”

With the help of the right tools for virtual work, meetings, training and workshops can all be implemented remotely without any problems. To keep all participants productive in front of the screen, training slots should be kept short and concise and regular breaks should be scheduled. Organizers should also allow sufficient time for explanations on changing the platform and how to use new technology/systems effectively. To ensure a smooth online training process, a moderator can also provide support by guiding the participants through the training and assisting with organizational issues in real time.

4. Ensure close cooperation

In the absence of face-to-face meetings, continuous close consultation between all parties involved is crucially important. To coordinate the project and clarify any issues that might arise, effective communication is key. Even with an effective timeline and structure in place, it’s important to back this up with a trusted relationship built on regular, honest communication. Arranging regular video conferences—where project stakeholders may even get a glimpse into each other’s lives at home—can also create a more personal relationship.

With 1,400 remote consultants, IFS has already completed more than 400 projects without in-person meetings. Over the past few months, IFS experts have also successfully completed numerous implementations exclusively from the home office, such as for the Hine Group, a manufacturer of hydraulic systems, hydraulic components and cooling systems.

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