Sure, the situation can be confounding! You work with an old, outdated MIS/ERP solution that urgently needs replacing. Or perhaps you use an older version of a modern solution and there is pressure to upgrade to the latest version. Of course, this is also a great moment to modernize your legacy business processes and fix the broken ones.

Needless to say, the data must be cleaned up. Also, your end users must be trained and hopefully inspired to get more out of the newly available functionality than in the old system. And yes – with this long-awaited move, a wealth of innovative new technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things finally comes within reach. After all, you don’t want to miss the boat, right?

(Check out this recent article on what “Industry 4.0″means for the print industry)

There can be a multitude of reasons for an implementation project to become huge. And every rationale that leads to an increase of your project scope might make perfect sense. But what lessons have we learned from ERP implementations that we’ve seen in the past say 20 to 30 years?

Some Points to Reconsider:

  • Customers are often overly optimistic when it comes to estimating their available time, skill sets, focus and motivation
  • During the implementation, it’s often easy to stray from the initial plan
  • Implementation projects have a tendency to take longer than expected
  • These ‘big-bang’ implementations inevitably cause disruption, sometimes even temporarily paralyzing an entire organization
  • In today’s fast changing world, initial project principles can quickly become outdated

The conclusion is that huge and long-lasting implementations with a wide ranging, shifting project scope usually become ineffective, with the problems gradually outweighing the benefits. The possible disruption of your day-to-day operation can increase customer churn, employee churn, and worse.

Implementing new print MIS software, adapting and modernizing your business processes and creating a fresh new company culture can require an enormous effort from your organization. It places unusual strain on your teams, especially while you also have a business to run.

The alternative to a big-bang approach is to divide the project into smaller stages, and have the discipline to stick to the plan.

A series of smaller project steps can bring numerous advantages. A shorter ‘time-to-value’ and the possibility to adapt more quickly to changing circumstances are certainly two of them. A complete print software solution will have modules to let you manage every corner of your operation, but it’s not necessary to “go live” on 100% of the functionality at once.

A Process Rather Than a Project

In today’s fast paced world, change sometimes seems to be the only constant. So, you no longer have to implement a perfect ERP solution that you then use for 5 or 10 years. It’s more effective to consider your digital transformation journey as a process rather than a project, and most likely a process that is never completely finished.

Approaching your next ERP project in this way is a great move towards this new way of thinking and working.

PrintVis is the Microsoft-certified MIS built specifically for the print industry, built directly on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, the world-renowned ERP system for mid-market businesses.

Our powerful solution meets both the most basic and advanced needs of any type or size of print company, from the first quote until the job is produced and delivered to the customer – including a complete financial package and robust business intelligence from Microsoft.

If you recognize your own print business in any of the above scenarios, and feel trepidation on how to embark on your ERP implementation journey, get in touch with us! We’ll connect you with one of our certified PrintVis Partners and help you get off to a great start, just like we’ve been doing for nearly a quarter of a century.