4 Tips for Making Your Transfer from Spreadsheets to ERP as Painless as Possible

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4TipsForMakingYourTransferfromSpreadsheetstoERPasPainlessasPossibleMigrate to ERP

The transfer to enterprise resource planning (ERP) software can seem daunting and expensive, especially when spreadsheets can seem easy to manage and cheap. That’s why it’s no surprise that 71% of companies in the U.S. still use spreadsheets to plan. And for an SMB starting out, it likely seems like the best option.

That being said, manual data entry allows for human error, data silos, and countless other pain points that otherwise would be eliminated with ERP software; as companies grow, their spreadsheets can’t maintain a high volume of data or enable users to collaborate and gain remote insights. Therefore, many business leaders are beginning to recognize the benefits of ERP solutions to spreadsheets.

For manufacturers and distributors, moving to ERP software is an excellent way to grow their competitive advantage. However, when businesses move from spreadsheets to ERP, they must take their existing data with them. One of the biggest ERP implementation steps is migrating your existing data into your new solution. Because this isn’t always easy, we put together these four tips to help you more easily transfer your data.

1. Review Your Processes

You already have many different data types and processes in place. But you can’t move forward with implementation without first evaluating and understanding your current data and processes. We recommend using this as an opportunity to take an audit of your data and processes, helping you simplify migration and avoid disruptions in implementation. Consider the following questions before you get started:

  • What information are you storing?
  • Where is that information being stored?
  • Is there any unnecessary or outdated data?
  • What information does your team struggle to find or generate actionable insights from?
  • How do you currently use data?
  • How do you want to use your data in the future?

Answering these questions at the beginning will ensure that your new ERP software will support your business needs and determine the trajectory of the project. Not to mention, you don’t want to waste your time transferring data that consists of errors or inconsistencies!

2. Determine What Data Needs to be Migrated

We recommend taking a closer look at how often your data is being used in case there is data that is no longer needed. You can streamline your data transfer by determining what data should be transferred immediately, what can wait until post-live, and what can be deleted. For example, your team can pick a date timeline of use and if data hasn’t been touched during this time, it likely can be eradicated.

Moreover, small files can be entered into the new system directly, streamlining the process. And some data, like former employee information, can be deleted.

3. Clean the Data  

Additionally, because your team will have to transfer a massive amount of data, cleaning your data will optimize this difficult and time-consuming implementation step.

To clean data, we suggest first standardizing the data stored throughout your existing spreadsheets; you’ll likely find that each department implements data differently. You can use this as an opportunity to create uniform formats that will be used throughout the entire enterprise. This will also ensure data won’t get lost during the transfer.

Further, your team can ensure there are no errors or duplicate entries. As previously mentioned, manual data entry can lead to human error. In this way, eliminating those erroneous configurations will only improve your business.

4. Convert Data

Data conversion can be tricky, and many implementations experience delays at this point. Testing is a critical aspect of data conversion; by running tests, you can verify that data is loaded into correct fields, formatted accurately, and created with the correct number of records.

Creating a schedule for the conversion is also recommended. Instead of trying to convert all the data at once, make a manageable schedule that your project team can achieve, even saving some conversions for after your software is live. This will also keep you from converting files too early or too late which is a common issue in this step of ERP implementation. This plan will empower your team to achieve your implementation on-time and on-budget.

Wrap Up

Projects go wrong when team members cut corners. By accidentally missing a step, you can completely derail your implementation. That’s why Datix is here to help!

Datix is a certified Infor partner and an expert in Epicor® ERP. Our consultants are all experts in the manufacturing and distribution industries, and they will learn your business process to provide you with the best service. Further, they will be with you from the birth of your project, through your data transfer, and after your go-live date.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today!