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  • Writer's pictureJohn Hannan

How to Phase Your ERP Implementation Roll-Out

Are you ready to implement an ERP system? Congratulations! It's an exciting journey, and there's a lot of potential for growth and efficiency. But you may be mulling the sensible question: How do I get started?

The answer might surprise you: You don't have to reach full implementation at once. Instead, a phased roll-out process gives you more time to test and refine your new ERP system as needed — while ensuring continuity in business operations.

At John Hannan LLC, we specialize in helping clients plan and execute these roll-outs. In this article, we'll discuss some tips on how to phase your ERP implementation roll-out. Everything from deciding which modules or functions to prioritize first, which user groups should be included in the initial phases of the roll-out, and more — so let's jump right into it!

Define Your ERP Implementation Objectives and Scope

When beginning an ERP implementation, it is essential to have a well-defined plan in place. This plan should identify the business objectives and scope of the project, as well as the steps necessary to complete it.

One of the first things you should consider is how you will phase your ERP implementation roll-out. You might decide to phase by system function/module, physical location, business unit or product line, country, or any relevant variables to your organization. A seasoned consultant can help you define this plan to reach your desired level of success.

Alternatively, you might decide to roll out the entire system at once. Although this approach may be more efficient in some cases, there are some potential drawbacks, including higher implementation costs, increased disruption, and difficulty troubleshooting issues that arise during the process.

No matter which option you choose for your ERP implementation roll-out strategy, it's important to define your objectives and scope upfront to ensure a successful outcome for your project.

Determine Roll-out Approach: Big Bang vs. Phased Roll-Out

When it comes to ERP implementations, one of the most important factors to consider is the roll-out approach. Should you adopt a 'Big Bang' method, where all business areas switch to the new system simultaneously, or opt for a phased roll-out?

The answer depends on several factors. If your organization is global, with different units and locations across multiple countries, then a phased roll-out makes more sense since you can test out each stage before rolling out completely. On the other hand, if all units are within one country and relatively close in size, budget, and scope, then a Big Bang approach may make more sense.

Consider your new system's different modules and functions when deciding on an approach. Think about how each will impact different business areas and how best to integrate them into your operations. Getting seasoned consulting help to design a plan tailored specifically for your organization can be invaluable in ensuring success when phasing out an ERP implementation.

Plan by ERP Module: Finance, Supply Chain, HR, CRM

Another element to consider when phasing your ERP implementation roll-out is how to best plan by ERP module. Your team should consider a phased approach for each ERP module, like Finance, Supply Chain, Human Resources, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

Consider the following questions for every module:

• How many users must undergo transition?

• What are their access requirements?

• Which user activities will be performed?

• What are the affected physical locations and business units?

• Are there any necessary changes in policy or process for successful module execution?

It may sound overwhelming, but seasoned consultants like John Hannan LLC can help you design a plan covering all these items. When executed properly, the results are worth it—your newly implemented ERP system will provide visibility across departments, better data quality, and improved processes.

Prioritize Physical Locations and Business Units

How you roll out an ERP implementation will depend on the size and scope of the project. Still, one key consideration is prioritizing your organization's physical locations, business units, or product lines to be implemented first. This strategy can help you focus efforts and test new processes before rolling them out globally.

Experts recommend that you consider how much effort is required to implement each location, how quickly it needs to be completed, and what operational processes already exist. This will help you determine which areas should prioritize during the roll-out process.

For example, if one business unit operates solely in the United States, and your ERP system needs to accommodate multi-national currency and language support for global operations, then it might make sense to tackle that business unit last after focusing on other units operating in one country first.

Seasoned consultants can help design a phased roll-out plan tailored to your organization's needs, considering systems functions/modules, physical location, business unit or product line, country considerations, etc. Doing this upfront means a smoother transition and faster results when it comes time to go live.

Develop Country-Specific Implementation Plans

When rolling out your ERP implementation, you should create a roll-out plan specific to each country. This is especially important considering each region's different languages, currencies, and laws.

Seasoned consultants can help you plan for each country's unique situation and advise on maximizing your ERP deployment. Here are some factors to consider when planning a country-specific ERP implementation:

Local Regulations

The legal landscape of each country can have an impact on an ERP installation, as well as on the data collected from customers and vendors. Consultants with knowledge of local regulations can guide you in setting up taxation, export/import control processes, and more.

Language Requirements

Are there any language considerations that must be considered during the roll-out? If so, experienced consultants can devise ways to deploy your ERP system while meeting language requirements.

Currency Requirements

Are there different currency requirements associated with the regions you'll be rolling out your ERP system? If so, experienced consultants can guide how best to set up your system while considering different currencies.

Each country presents challenges and opportunities when it comes to implementing your ERP system—and having local advisors experienced in dealing with these particular obstacles makes all the difference.

Bringing It All Together: Master Roll-out Schedule and Resource Plan

How do you bring it all together? You create a master roll-out schedule and plan for resources. This will allow you to coordinate the implementations and deliveries across all phases, ensuring your ERP implementation plan is executed efficiently.

A seasoned consultant, such as John Hannan LLC, can help you design a plan that incorporates all your considerations. This may include:

  • System function or module

  • Physical location

  • Business unit or product line

  • Country

To guarantee the triumphant completion of the entire project, the resource plan and master roll-out schedule should entail approximate deadlines for each roll-out phase, along with the requisite human resources and equipment needed to accomplish each phase. This approach gives you an overview of the implementation dates for each ERP system module, paving the way for their efficient completion and deployment.

On A Final Note

When implementing an ERP system, there are two approaches: system-by-system or all at once. A thorough plan covering all bases is vital for whichever route you take. This includes considering current processes, available resources, risk assessment, and communication to ensure a smooth implementation.

Undoubtedly, the thought of implementing an ERP system can be intimidating. But by working with experienced consultants, you can customize a plan tailored to your organization's needs, enabling you to maximize the potential of your new system. With that in mind, if you need help with your ERP implementation roll-out? Contact John Hannan LLC for more details.


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