Earlier this year, we referenced a study done by The Pandora Consulting Group stating that 40% of companies surveyed that had implemented an ERP solution in the last three years listed “Lack of employee buy-in” as the biggest challenge to the success of their implementation.
In our previous post, “What a Difference a Partner Makes – Part 2,” we provided some bullet points of how engaging an effective software partner can help you get employee buy-in throughout the implementation process and beyond. We have a perfect example of how one company put these concepts into action.
Here is the story of how Neundorfer, an Ohio Clean Tech consulting and manufacturing company, worked with Socius to engage their employees from the beginning of the software selection process to ensure a successful implementation.
Software Selection based on Business Requirements
From the time they reached out to Socius for assistance in selecting a new ERP software solution, Neundorfer was already including employees from across the organization in their decision making process. Socius’ first step in any engagement with a new client is to perform a business requirements assessment. Neundorfer made people from every department from finance and operations to sales and marketing available for Socius to ask questions and determine what their needs really were so that they could suggest the solution that would fit their business best. Neundorfer ultimately decided on an integrated Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution that would fit the needs of everyone in the organization.
“Socius listened, they understood our process, they asked a lot of powerful and good questions and then they came up with a solution.”
– Mike Neundorfer, CEO at Neundorfer
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Review Business Processes as a Team
Prior to jumping into the implementation project, Neundorfer partnered with Socius to complete a comprehensive business process review (BPR) which allowed Socius to work with the staff to identify current business processes and develop best practices going forward. This review was another opportunity for individuals across the organization to make sure that their day-to-day activities were supporting the goals of the organization efficiently. Neundorfer saw immediate benefits from the BPR including reduced meeting times which resulted in significant cost savings for the company.
“By involving our entire team in the process, getting their feedback and buy-in, we were able to streamline many operations.”
– Jean Ockuly, VP of Finance at Neundorfer
Internal Training Shows Corporate Ownership
A standard part of Socius’ implementation methodology that Neundorfer participated in is the training of the user community. For this training, Socius trained the project leadership team and was on-hand to contribute subject matter expertise, however, the general user training was conducted by the project team. Having the project team lead this training proves to the staff that the leaders are invested in the project and the success of the ERP implementation. This training also gave the project team and Socius the opportunity to test their assumptions and refine the new processes to ensure that the solution worked as it was intended for all users, allowing them to see how their needs were being addressed by the solution prior to “Go Live.”
Use Technology to Demonstrate the Value of the Individual
Neundorfer has a large computer monitor hanging prominently in their facility that displays sales figures, backlog volume, production costs, and other current data. Socius showed Neundorfer how they could use their new Microsoft Dynamics GP solution to extract that data and stream it live to the monitors so that employees could refer to it and see how their work to boost sales and minimize costs is affecting the organization in real-time.
“Across every department, our staff understands the value they add to the company and the importance of their positions and the work they do. “They look for ways to improve our operations, and that leads to better quality for our customers.”
– Jean Ockuly, VP of Finance at Neundorfer
Ongoing Engagement through Ongoing Education
Neundorfer continues to keep their employees plugged-in and up-to-date on the latest tools and resources for Microsoft Dynamics GP by encouraging them to participate in educational opportunities that Socius and Microsoft offer. GP users from Neundorfer are consistently on Socius’ monthly webinars where they learn tips and tricks to enhance their use of the product and improve their organizations results. Additionally, Neundorfer sent representatives from every department to Socius’ annual Aspire conference so that everyone in the organization could benefit from the knowledge that the attendees brought back. By having people from various roles participating in these learning opportunities, it not only keeps the employees engaged in and using the software, but it also keeps the partner more involved and gives Socius more opportunities to help Neundorfer continue to make the most of their Microsoft Dynamics GP ERP software.