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Manufacturers and distributors across the globe are looking to change the way they incorporate technology into their business practices. The intention is to solve pain points, make measurable improvements, and gain a competitive advantage in an intense market. 85% of enterprise decision-makers say they are under pressure to make significant inroads into their digital transformation strategies within the next two years, or they’ll suffer financially.
After over 20 years of experience, our consultants have noticed that the fate of a digital transformation often rests on the execution of a few critical steps. Below, we explain what these steps are and why businesses can’t afford to leave them out during their ERP implementation.
1. Focus on Change Management
It’s not uncommon for organizations to ignore change management but neglecting this critical aspect of your digital transformation will cost your business down the road. Unexplained changes almost always create resentment in the workplace, especially if these changes disrupt how daily processes are performed. That’s why a change management plan is essential for ensuring your solutions are being adopted appropriately across the organization.
Communication is the most important aspect of any change management strategy. When users are presented with the reasons behind each project and given a chance to provide input, they are more likely to support the initiative. We also recommend sharing the progress and timeline of the project, so users don’t walk in one morning to find an unfamiliar solution. Additionally, make sure each user receives role-based training and knows where to go when they have questions or concerns.
With open and clear communication, you can avoid unpleasant surprises and frustrated users, and your workforce will be ready to take part in your organization’s digital transformation.
2. Emphasize the Business Process
Even though it’s called a digital transformation, you should really think of it more as an enterprise transformation. In other words, every decision you make should be rooted in your business’s unique processes and requirements. A large reason many digital transformation projects fail is that the project often lacks direction. Businesses get caught up in the latest trends and lose sight of the core purpose: to optimize enterprise performance.
Before making any decisions on where to invest, we greatly encourage your company to undergo business process modeling. Map out workflows, discuss current pain points with leaders across your organization, and identify areas in need of improvement, this will help your team create a digital transformation roadmap that addresses your specific goals and challenges. It will also help you set priorities, so you can take an incremental approach rather than bombard your enterprise with several projects at once.
Ultimately, every company’s digital transformation will look different. A business that is held up by data silos will benefit from software integration, a manufacturer losing track of inventory might consider ERP and IoT technology, a distributor interested in improving customer experiences could launch an eCommerce site; the list goes on. Just make sure each investment is well planned and will strengthen your enterprise.
3. Pursue Continuous Improvement
Your software journey is only beginning at the go-live date; it should improve business well after implementation. Pursuing continuous improvement provides ongoing support for your system, generating long-term ROI.
One way to achieve continuous improvement is by hosting your software in the cloud. Tedious data security and updates take up your IT department’s time, but in the cloud, they will be automatic. Additionally, the cloud provides best practices for data security and protects your data from serious threats. Cloud automatic updates optimize system performances and simplify software improvements.
Further, while software upgrades can be tedious, refusing to upgrade your software will slow down processes and create errors. Upgrades offer extensive improvements and fixes, and they protect your investment from risk.
Your business isn’t static, so your software shouldn’t be either! Over time, your software needs will likely change. We recommend tracking KPIs so you can stay on top of performance lapses. That way, you can pursue additional solutions—customizations, integrations, new modules, etc.—when it’s appropriate.
4. Conduct Rigorous System Testing
When time starts to run short or budgets run thin, testing is often an area where project teams cut corners. However, failing to undergo critical system testing puts you at risk of serious downtime. It’s best to address any problems in test environments.
We recommend conducting various tests to ensure every nook and cranny of your system is ready for go-live. Check that backup processes, workflows, APIs, the database, and everything else are good to go. As tedious as this step of the implementation can be, you’ll be thankful you did it once your digital transformation is error-free.
Digital transformation has become essential for modern manufacturing and distribution success, but without taking the proper measures, your strategies could fail. Let Datix help you transform your business through software. We have specialized in ERP for over 20 years, and we are committed to supporting our clients’ digital transformation journeys. From cloud deployment options to new IoT technology, we will work with you from start-to-finish in your digital transformation. Plus, as a one stop shop for enterprise software, we have a large array of solutions and services for top-to-bottom business improvements.
Get on the right path to digital transformation success by contacting an expert at Datix today!