Is a Rapid ERP Implementation for Manufacturing Possible?
If you’re a small to medium sized manufacturing company, you recognize that modern ERP systems are key to obtaining a lean and competitive advantage in your industry. In most cases, a new ERP system may be necessary to take your company to the next level. Without an ERP, disjointed production planning spreadsheets and duplicated manual data entry processes will only hold back growth. But to implement these complex ERP systems, your best people are required for a traditionally lengthy project that demands exhaustive attention for the better part of a year, or more.
You need ERP to get you to the next level, and you need it now. How can you get both? Many small manufacturing companies are successfully implementing ERP using a fairly new concept – a rapid implementation – rather than a traditional ERP implementation project.
Consider Instant//AX delivered by Hitachi-Solutions. Hitachi’s Instant//AX teams have decades of manufacturing experience. They have developed toolboxes that contain everything you could need to deliver a faster project completion. There are two aspects that make ERP implementation difficult and expensive for any manufacturer: the learning curve for the implementing partner’s delivery team and the ERP learning curve for your users.
For your implementing partner, understanding your manufacturing processes and knowledge of product and industry is critical – or is it?
You already have lists of vendors, customers and products, each with a bill of material, a production route, times and operation lists. You have bills to pay and invoices to collect. With Instant//AX tools, all of this existing data is collected, mapped and quickly loaded into a custom ERP system configured to your specific needs and business. Whether your business is blending motor oil or assembling electronic equipment, these teams know how Microsoft Dynamics AX can be configured to run your business. The Hitachi team’s expertise enables a focus on speed and best practice rather than customizing the ERP system to replicate what is already in place today which, very often, needs to be re-engineered to remove duplication and inefficiencies during a traditional implementation.
For your user, particularly if you are a small or mid-sized manufacturing company, your people are probably already used to change and learning new tools. Dynamics AX is a tool for business, and is no different for your team to adopt. Instant//AX tools include excellent training documentation and recorded video screen shots using your data and provided by the implementation team. Training is quick, effective and painless!
Instant//AX may not be everyone. The manufacturer’s project team, and more importantly their leadership, must have a mindset open for change. Often with very small operations, the processes in place are honed over the early years of the company’s start up and held dear. Change is not easy and can be met with resistance. Both the implementing partner and the manufacturer’s teams have to believe that there is a better way, and often that better way, using Microsoft Dynamics AX, can only be recognized in the bigger picture.
Projects to complete ERP implementation using Instant//AX are measured in weeks, not months. Typical Instant//AX project costs are a fraction of what your competitor may have spent engaging a traditional project using a long consulting methodology that in the end, may have produced a slick version of exactly the same processes they had in place prior to the project. It may be worth considering both approaches, traditional and rapid methods. Analyzing and comparing each method for costs, time required and future competitive advantages at go-live should make the decision clear.
Want to learn more? Visit our Instant//AX page!
Want see how we’ve implemented this for our customers? Visit our most recent success story, Performance Controls.