How to make sure that ERP ‘Go Live’ is Successful in your foundry!
Selection of ERP in a foundry requires very extensive efforts by decision makers and for that team iCast has created a guideline as well. But implementing the ERP is very critical as it requires almost everyone’s participation in the exercise. It is a sensitive issue and study says an average 30-40% ERP fails during implementation phase. We have successfully implemented iCast ERP in many cities of India such as Rajkot, Ahmedabad, Belgaum, Trichy, Coimbatore, Kolkata, Jaipur etc… and from experience, we’ve developed a basic guide line to higher the probability for successfully ‘Going Live’ in a foundry.
We need to understand that in case of implementing ERP it equally depends upon the in-house team and the team of service provider. There are some steps which needs to be followed before going live:
1. Identify mandatory data input required
Every foundry is different and stresses more on different reports. House team needs to identify which are critical reports for their foundry and to get those reports what data is must. This exercise should start from the stage of ERP selection process. In case one needs some report after going live that can be developed but if you do not have a data input and need to start from scratch will be very difficult after going live.
2. Extensive user training
Make sure all the users have gone through extensive training and have at least made entries of the 2 to 3 months data. This will allow them to come up with all major use cases that arises in a foundry. Also, for all the data entries there should be more than one person who should be trained in case there is a sudden absence or attrition it should not stop the system.
3. Prepare the list of all the use cases (Most Critical)
For example, if a user from molding department makes only couple of entries he might not come across a rare case scenario such as when we need to close the cavity during molding for some reason. And if such cases occurs after going live it will be very difficult to provide quick solutions or may not get proper solution which can lead to wrong data capturing and hence inaccurate reports like inventory reports or costing reports.
4. Verify all reports and data and accuracy
Verify all the major reports and accuracy of the data that you get before going live at least by making one month of data entry. Verify the formats are acceptable to your organization especially the ones which are going to be communicated with customers/suppliers.
5. Accurate opening stock and masters
This is very critical in the case of foundry at the time of ‘Going-Live’ we need to upload the existing stock of Raw Materials as well as Process wise WIP (Castings). Any mistake in this can lead to permanent inventory related issue. And in case of foundries it’s almost impossible to get the accurate stock of materials like sand and scrap. So in order to avoid last minute haste one needs to come up with the plan for how to measure the correct stock and enter into the system.
6. Mock Trial
This sounds like too much work but to be absolutely sure about the ‘Go-Live’ success, we recommend users to perform the mock trial of Go-Live’ and then ask your user to start using the software on daily basis for reasonable period of time. This will bring the ‘Post Go Live’ issues out and then next time (At the time of actual go live) the chances of success becomes almost certain.
7. Have a contingency plan
We also recommend this strongly. After all we all are humans and it’s not possible to think of all the use cases before hand. Problems can occur or sometimes something can go wrong. In such scenario we need to have some sort of back up or a contingency plan to deal with the situation which will tell us how to deal with it, what to do next, whom to inform first. This plan should also mention what kind of support will be required and whom to contact to get the support.
Post Go-Live Check Point
Even after going live successfully one should not just be at ease. There are some things that needs to be monitored/taken care of after going live for long term effect:
- Monitor users entry practices at each level for initial period- it’s very crucial as ERP brings in cultural changes and we need to keep the check for every user to develop the correct entry practices.
- Additional training if required before any bad habits sets in- Some time users are prone to take shortcuts in making entries and if this happens in the beginning of the cycle than it remains in the system for long and we do not want that especially when we are inhibiting a new culture. So give them training again if required.
- Study shows that on an average 37% of the staff would be using ERP system in the organizations- not everyone is as skill full and adaptive to change-Try to find out who shows the sign of stress and discomfort and be ready to give them the push/motivation they need.
After going live successfully and created new culture and way of work life in your foundry you need to measure the benefits realization of implementation. We have written the article on how to measure the benefits realization for the foundries. Also, keep in mind that what is going to be the next big cultural change in your foundry and how it’s going to affect the ERP or what changes you need in future in ERP. For example, if you need to go for SCADA integration with ERP you need to start preparing for that.
Here is one memory from our Successful implementation Stories. Picture with the iCast users of one of our client based in Trichy (Tiruchirapally), Chennai after successfully going live!
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