Your Quick-Start Guide to Cloud Manufacturing ERP Implementation
Cloud manufacturing ERP offers many benefits. If you’ve decided it’s time to shift manufacturing ERP technology over to the cloud, you are in great company. According to Oracle, 50% of companies are planning to upgrade to cloud ERP soon or very soon. That means if you aren’t upgrading to the best manufacturing ERP system you can afford, you’ll find yourself at a competitive disadvantage.
For those who are convinced cloud manufacturing ERP is the way of the future and have selected their software vendor, it’s time to move into the implementation phase. This 5-step implementation plan will have your system ready to go quickly and efficiently.
Step 1: Assemble the Team
Although you may wonder, “Shouldn’t we let the IT team handle cloud manufacturing ERP implementation?,” the answer is a resounding no. Sure, the IT team may lead the initiative, but you’ll also need to assemble a group which includes representatives from all major departments using the software. This ensures all questions, concerns, and processes are accurately and adequately mapped. The team leading the implementation will need to map out the full implementation plan, decide on reporting requirements, and work with the software vendor who is customizing the solution for your needs.
Step 2: Conduct a Needs Assessment
In step 2, the team assembled in step 1 conducts a needs assessment. This analysis and design phase reviews all areas of the manufacturing organization and agrees upon the data to collect, reporting needs, and any other specific needs from the organization. These needs are put into the formal plan and reported back to the vendor.
Step 3: Build the System
The cloud manufacturing ERP solutions vendor next takes the information gathered during the needs assessment and builds out the system. The vendor may request several meetings as well as “test runs” of the new system to ensure it meets your company’s needs.
Step 4: Implement the Solution
Implementation may be phased or all at once, depending on the company and the desired speed of implementation. Prepare for a learning curve and schedule time for Step 5—training.
Step 5: Train the Users
It’s vital to set aside adequate time to train all users of the new system. This includes managers, but it should include everyone, at all levels of the organization, who will interact with and use the software.
One concept to consider is that of the super user. A super user is trained to a higher skill level in the use of the system than the other employees. Super users become on-site experts and troubleshooters to answer questions quickly for others.
What’s Holding Your Cloud Manufacturing ERP Implementation Back?
Cost considerations, data privacy, security—these issues are often cited as reasons why manufacturers hesitate to add cloud ERP to their technology suite.
Cloud systems pay for themselves over time in cost savings. Instead of investing heavily in hardware and personnel to run and maintain it, companies pay a monthly fee for cloud hosting. This ensures their system runs smoothly and is also protected by multiple firewalls and backups.
Data privacy is guaranteed by most cloud hosts. If you’re concerned, read the fine print of your contract and speak with the hosting partner about where your data resides. Most keep data segregated, and although it is backed up frequently, there is no chance it can be shared among other companies. In other words, Manufacturing XYZ cannot log into your system and view your customer list or profit and loss statement.
Lastly, security is often of concern, but in today’s world, where even major utilities and government systems can fall victim to hackers, cloud systems are more secure than many on-site systems. That’s because cloud systems update and upgrade security frequently, often more frequently than corporations who are running their own hardware can update them. Cloud systems offer unparalleled security for all types of companies, including manufacturers.
If you’re ready to take the next step and improve your systems, contact Mindover Software for more information. Visit our website and view our ERP systems. Then, contact us or call 512-330-3994 for an appointment.