Author: MIE Solutions Marketing

January 23, 2019 MIE Solutions Marketing

Quick Tip: Rules of ERP Implementation- ERP Implementation Prioritize & Follow Through

 

Rule #6: Prioritize and follow through

 

This Quick Tip is part of a series on the six rules of a successful ERP implementation. The first rule is to provide full management support to the ERP implementation, the second rule is to have a system champion, the third rule is to get employee buy-in, the fourth rule is to have written plans, and the fifth rule is to determine an ERP training approach that works well for your business.

 

The sixth rule is to prioritize your data conversion and to follow through on both deadlines and the ERP implementation process as a whole.

 

If you can confidently follow the five rules that were discussed in the previous Quick Tips, then you are well on your way to a successful ERP implementation.

 

 

As for the sixth and final rule, make sure you:

Choose your priorities

Most companies do 80 percent of their business with 20 percent of their customers; with that 20 percent, comes 80 percent of all their part numbers.

 

If you plan to convert your data a little at a time, start with the 20 percent that will yield 80 percent of your business.

 

Avoid the “super user”

When training, do not depend on one highly motivated employee to become an expert on the ERP software and then teach it to others. This approach ensures a delayed implementation, at best, and an outright failure, at worst. Each person who will be using the software should be involved in some portion of the initial ERP training, especially because adequate training is a major determinant of implementation success.

 

If a business is slow, your company may be less willing to spend the money on thorough ERP training for multiple employees. On the other hand, if the business is growing or is very busy, employees may feel they don’t have adequate time to do their regular jobs and take on learning something new.

 

As discussed in Rule #4, make sure that software training plans are scheduled with each employee’s workload in mind and that each employee’s goals are attainable.

 

Set a firm “go live” date

People need deadlines to hold them accountable. When you extend the date because people are “not ready yet”, they will continue to procrastinate. When you set a firm “go live” date and stick to it, your employees will have to prioritize learning the software or face the consequences of not being prepared.


Keep the momentum going

Avoid stops and starts in the ERP implementation process, at all cost. Once people get excited about using the software, it is better to keep the momentum going, even if you only implement a little at a time.

TIP: Accept the fact that you will never find a “perfect time” to implement and train employees on a new system.

 

As you research, select, and implement your ERP software, do not forget why you began the search in the first place. Each company has their own specific reasons for needing an ERP system. What is yours?

 

As growing pains and struggles arise, remind yourself and your team why the pains are necessary and work together to push through them. The bottom line is that, although your new ERP software will require a lot of time, training, and effort, it will be worth it and will position your company for sustained growth and profitability.

 

Review any of the previous ERP implementation rules by clicking the links above!

 

January 9, 2019 MIE Solutions Marketing

Quick Tip: Rules of ERP Implementation- Develop A Training Approach

 

Rule #5: Develop a Training Approach

 

This Quick Tip is part of a series on the six rules of a successful ERP implementation. The first rule is to provide full management support to the implementation, the second rule is to have a system champion, the third rule is to get employee buy-in, and the fourth rule is to have written plans for the ERP implementation.

 

The fifth rule focuses on creating an ERP training approach for the entire ERP implementation process.

 

When it comes to training employees on the new software, you may wonder how much ERP training is required for a successful implementation.

 

As a rule of thumb, your employees can never receive too much ERP software training. This is especially true if you are embarking on a “big bang” ERP implementation approach. By “big bang” we mean that everything is going live on the same day versus a phased approach. New systems are sophisticated, and people need plenty of time to learn the product, experiment with it, and see how it works before it goes live.

 

Granted, the best applications are intuitive and easy to use, but proper ERP software training goes beyond the basic software. With quality training, your employees can utilize each feature properly and maximize your company’s investment in the ERP software.

 

There are various types of ERP training that you and your team can take advantage of during the implementation process, including:

 

 

Vendor-based

Your employees go to the vendor’s site for an intensive course on the basics of the ERP software. Depending on how often classes are held, this may be your first introduction to the software or come after you have had some online or on-site training. MIE Solutions’ training class, for example, is a vendor-based boot camp that lasts 3 days and provides a thorough introduction and total ERP software training.

 

On-site

This type of software training is going to be geared towards your company’s exact needs and processes because the vendor comes to your site to work with specific groups or individuals. This training can last as long as necessary and usually involves using your own data. Retiring or outgoing workers should not have to train their replacements, so take good-quality notes to pass on to new hires and save all materials for future review.

 

Online

This ERP training option typically involves phone calls, Teamviewer, videos, and, is tailored to answer your company’s specific questions. Extra time can be purchased for those that need additional training.

 

 

Finally, recognize that ERP training does not end post-implementation. We suggest including a future on-site instructor in your training approach. This allows new and existing employees to use the software much more effectively, which enhances your ongoing ROI.

 

Look out for the sixth and final rule of ERP implementation: “Prioritize & Follow Through”.

 

December 19, 2018 MIE Solutions Marketing

Quick Tip: Rules of ERP Implementation- Get Employee Buy-In

 

Rule #3: Get employee buy-in

This Quick Tip is part of a series on the six rules of a successful ERP software implementation. The first rule is to provide full management support to the ERP implementation and the second rule is to have a system champion.

 

The third rule is all about getting employee buy-in for the project and holding your staff accountable for learning and using the new ERP software. If you give deadlines for the initiative but fail to follow through, your employees will quickly assume that you are not serious about the change.

To make the change more attractive to employees and encourage buy-in, you must:

Communicate. Describe how the new system will make their jobs easier and how the company will benefit. At the same time, explain how difficult it will be for your company to remain competitive without efficient ERP software to manage production.

Demonstrate commitment and support. When your staff sees that management is fully behind the ERP software implementation, they are far more likely to support it (*Rule #1). If there is a dissonance between management, then it is highly likely your staff will take sides as well.

Insist that employees take ownership of the process. Start by telling your employees, “We’re depending on you to learn this because we’ll be coming to you with our questions.”

 

Studies show that when someone is assigned a specific task – or, in this case, is asked to learn something that will benefit them and their team – they are more dedicated to completing that task.

 

What you are, in fact, saying is “I am going to need your help understanding this process someday. Can you help me when that time comes?”. This gives your employee a sense of purpose in the ERP implementation and displays your belief in their abilities.

This leads us to the next step:

Assign tasks and responsibilities. Resistance is often due to a fear of the unknown. However, when people know what is expected of them and what they are responsible for, they are far more likely to embrace the change and move forward.


 

Without employee buy-in, the ERP software implementation will take longer, be more stressful than necessary, or fail altogether. With that in mind, it is important to take the proper steps to get your employees to trust your judgement and follow your leadership throughout this process.

 

Keep an eye out for the fourth rule of ERP implementation: “Have a Written Plan”.

December 5, 2018 MIE Solutions Marketing

Quick Tip: Rule of ERP Implementation- Have A Written Plan

Rule #4: Have a written plan

 

This Quick Tip is part of a series on the six rules of a successful ERP software implementation. The first rule is to provide full management support to the ERP implementation, the second rule is to have a system champion, and the third rule is to get employee buy-in.

 

The fourth rule, which is an important factor in any successful ERP software implementation, involves having a written plan.

 

A written plan is one of the most important factors because it:

 

  • Removes ambiguity from the process
  • Establishes deadlines for achieving key milestones, and
  • Provides a tool for ensuring that everyone involved stays on track

 

 

In addition, a written plan serves as both a guidepost and a guiding force behind the ERP software implementation. Typically, an effective system implementation plan can be entered into only a few pages of a spreadsheet

The written plan should:

  • Identify all technical needs and issues
  • Include all goals and objectives
  • Assign specific tasks and responsibilities to individuals
  • Set deadlines for important milestones (g. data conversion, training schedules and data testing)
  • Establish a firm “go live” date

 

Companies implementing ERP software should demand status or progress reports along the way. In fact, successful ERP implementations insist on receiving staff feedback – especially regarding areas of security, menu, help, training, conversion, or specific modules.

 

It is also good to require deadlines for these status reports; this way, you can expect that at a set time of the week or month, you will learn how confident your team is throughout the learning process.

 

Status reports provide an excellent tool of measurement during the training phase and may identify potential bottlenecks in the ERP software implementation process.

 

Furthermore, a good ERP implementation plan has realistic goals and considers the various workloads of departments and employees when creating a timeline.

Overloading people who are already working at full capacity will raise stress levels and increase resistance to the change. Where possible, schedule training and ERP implementation around work, rather than in place of it.

 

 

Finally, keep in mind that no matter how well-written a plan is, no ERP software implementation unfolds without some adjustments. If minor delays occur, stick to the components of the plan and be prepared to tweak the timeline to accommodate such circumstances, should they arise.

 

When this happens, make sure that those in charge of the implementation plan are aware of these changes. Communicating this will save your team from any confusion and keep everyone on track to reach the end goal, which is a successful ERP implementation.

 

 

Keep an eye out for the fifth rule of ERP implementation: “Develop a Training Approach”.

 

November 21, 2018 MIE Solutions Marketing

Quick Tip: Rule of ERP Implementation- Be An Advocate

 

Rules of ERP Implementation: Be an Advocate

 

Implementation of ERP software can be lengthy and stressful, but if executed correctly and with the proper planning, it can bring you and your company the success and growth you have been waiting for. The following six rules should help your team understand and plan for your future ERP implementation.

 

Is this you?

 

  • You just purchased ERP software
  • You are looking into purchasing ERP software
  • You are trying to convince the rest of your team that you need ERP software

 

Wherever you fall on this list, it is important to be prepared for the transition from purchasing to ERP implementation. Around ⅔ of all ERP implementations fail, so we want to help you avoid being in this unfortunate statistic.

 

The six rules of ERP implementation are:

 

  1. Provide full management support to the implementation
  2. Have a system champion
  3. Get employee buy-in
  4. Have written plans
  5. Develop a training approach
  6. Prioritize and follow through

 

Let’s go into a little more detail of the first two rules…

 

Rule #1: You must provide full management support for the ERP implementation


Management must set an example for their staff by showing that they are invested in the success of the project. This is an important factor in avoiding divisions between staff members.

 

For most of us, learning new software is not easy, so it is also important to show patience with your trainee(s) during this process. Your patience during this time will reiterate your support of the ERP software program and your team, as they learn to fully utilize it.

 

Rule #2: Have a system champion


Even when we know that change is necessary, we often resist to some degree. Any successful ERP implementation must include a concerted effort to get employee buy-in of the new system; this is where a “system champion” comes in.

 

A system champion can encourage employee buy-in by communicating the importance of the implementation process and facilitating employee teamwork throughout the entire process.

It is expected that some resistance will occur, so it is important to try understanding the reasons.

 

 

For instance, employees may resist because they are comfortable with the current system and processes or anxious and fearful of such a significant change.

 

It is beneficial to have the system champion speak to the team about their personal and professional reasons for resisting the change. Let your team be heard by someone they feel they can confide in.

 

 

The more you know about why there is resistance, the better you can address your employees’ concerns and improve your company’s chances of a successful ERP implementation.

 

Keep a lookout for the third rule of ERP implementation: “Get Employee Buy-In”.

 

November 1, 2018 MIE Solutions Marketing

Software Advice Names MIE Trak Pro FrontRunner for ERP Manufacturing Software
MIE Trak Pro Ranked Top 5 from More Than 150 other ERP Products

Garden Grove, CA – November 1, 2018- MIE Solutions announced today it was named a FrontRunners for ERP software by Software Advice. FrontRunners is designed to help small businesses evaluate which software products may be right for them. Over 150 ERP solutions were considered and only 9 ERP solutions were selected as 2018 FrontRunners, and MIE Trak Pro placed in the top 5.

MIE Trak Pro scored a total of 8.79 out of 10 which composed of a Usability score 4.36 out of 5 and a User Recommended score of 4.43 out of 5.

Susan Gonzalez, VP of Marketing, said, “We are honored to be recognized by Software Advice for the outstanding value MIE Trak Pro ERP software brings to our users. Our goal at MIE Solutions is to serve our customers with great support and continue to develop a feature-rich product at a competitive price to those in need of an ERP solution.”

The FrontRunners quadrant for ERP software is at www.softwareadvice.com/erp/#top-products

FrontRunners is published on Software Advice, the leading online service for businesses navigating the software selection process. FrontRunners evaluates verified end-user reviews and product data, positioning the top scoring products based on usability and user recommendations for small businesses.

According to Software Advice, ERP vendors were only considered if they offered “core financials, human resources, inventory management as well as at least three of the following: data collection and analysis, supply chain management, manufacturing planning, enterprise asset management, warehouse management or customer relationship management.”

You can download and read the full FrontRunners for ERP Software Report Here.

Required disclaimer: The content for the FrontRunners quadrant is derived from actual end-user reviews and ratings as well as vendor-supplied and publicly available product and company information that gets applied against a documented methodology; the results neither represent the views of, nor constitute an endorsement by, Gartner or any of its affiliates.

 

About MIE Solutions

MIE Solutions is a worldwide leading supplier of advanced technology for the manufacturing community with installations in North America, Australia, Europe, Mexico, New Zealand and South Africa. We offer a variety of innovative software products for integrating business data, allowing organizations to make informed decisions for streamlining their business processes, resulting in maximum efficiency and immediate ROI. Companies of all sizes have used our products to bring their business to the next level, improving their manufacturing productivity and quality.

Contact

MIE Solutions
pr@mie-solutions.com
13252 Garden Grove Blvd #215
Garden Grove, CA 92843
(714)786-6230

October 31, 2018 MIE Solutions Marketing

Quick Tip: Questions to Ask Your ERP Vendors

We understand that deciding on ERP software can be difficult, especially when you have multiple options on the table. Here are some questions that you can ask your ERP vendors that should help you find the best ERP software solution for you and your team!

 

Background Information

  • What makes them different than other ERP vendors?
  • How long have they been in business compared to other ERP vendors?
  • How have customers used their system to be successful?
  • For which industries does the ERP system work best?

 

 

 

Software

  • How long does the ERP implementation take?
  • Do they offer on-site, vendor-based, and/or online training?
  • Are they a license-based ERP vendor or subscription-based ERP vendor?
  • How often are updates made to the ERP software and how much do they cost?

 

Features

  • Does their ERP software integrate with your current accounting, HR, or CAD/CAM software?
  • Do they offer the modules that your company needs?
  • Are they cloud- or facility-based?
  • Is there a limit to how many customers, products, or part numbers you can have in the system?
  • What is offered in the original purchase and what are the additional add-on modules that you will have to purchase separately?

 

Other Companies

  • For which industry (or industries) does their system work best?
  • References – Are the ERP vendors willing to provide you with references? Also, the vendor will have a better idea of what companies to refer you to if they know your typical processes.
    • Ask the ERP vendors for a newer customer and a customer that has been with them for a good amount of time; the newer customer will have recent experience with ERP implementation and the older customer will have recent experience with support and updates.
  • Have there been any failed ERP implementations recently? If so, why did it fail? When did it fail? And what happened after it failed?

 

Miscellaneous

  • What is their greatest weakness as an ERP vendor? What is their ERP software’s greatest weakness? (reviews will also be an indicator of this…)
  • What is one thing their customers say they do better than other companies?

 

Not every question in this list should be asked in the initial phone call. The ERP vendors need to know a bit of information about you to answer certain questions effectively and efficiently.

 

What to tell ERP vendors when you are looking for ERP software:

  • Features – Make sure they offer what you need by determining your priorities.

 

  • Industry – Is your company in manufacturing, fabricating, or assembly? Are you a job shop? Do you produce custom, made-to-order products? Do you do a lot of repetitive orders? What materials do you work with?

 

  • Processes – It may be best to walk the ERP vendors through an average work day in the shop from start to finish; this allows them to gauge how (or if) their system can help.

 

  • Budget – If you are confident in your budget, feel free to share it with them. This prevents wasting time going over details if their cost is outside of your budget. On the other hand, if your budget is unclear, let the ERP vendors know so they can give you an idea of pricing to take back to your team.

 

  • Timeline – Let them know when you will be making a decision and when you would like to implement the software. They should be able to give you an idea of whether the timeline is realistic.

 

  • Decision-maker – Know who is involved in making the final decision for your company and let the ERP vendors know if others will be involved.

 

  • Best time to reach you – It is a good idea to give the ERP vendors specific dates and times that they should reach out to you. Nobody wants an influx of voicemails and emails when they are busy handling other issues or tasks. Let them work with your schedule and aim to set appointment times with the vendors to keep the project on track.

 

We understand why talking to ERP vendors about your budget and current system issues may make you feel uncomfortable. That is why it is up to the vendor to be a trustworthy partner in your decision to purchase their software. Use your best judgment, as well as the questions above, to find the system that works best for you!

October 17, 2018 MIE Solutions Marketing

3 Steps Before Purchasing ERP Software for Your Manufacturing Company

 

Now that we have looked over some finer details of what ERP software for a manufacturing company can do for you and your company, let’s move on to the purchasing of ERP software and how you can prepare.

 

It is important to consider the following three tips as you move forward with your research and decision-making process.

 

 

Before you purchase ERP software for a manufacturing company, you should

1. Meet with all decision-makers to determine priorities, outline struggles, and allocate tasks.

  • Who will be researching and speaking with ERP vendors?
  • What are your company’s main concerns?
  • What is the timeline for a decision and for ERP implementation?
  • What is the company’s budget?

2.   Use a Business Process Analysis –  which outlines the processes involved, the duties of participating parties, what and how information is exchanged, and the documents produced in a business.

  • Understand your current process
  • Outline what works well and what does not
  • Determine the who, what, when, where, why, and how of daily processes

 

3.  Have a dedicated Project Manager

  • Make sure he or she has enough power and resources to properly evaluate systems.
  • Make sure he or she knows the goals and understands the priorities of the company regarding features, timeline, budget, etc.

 

Once you have these three things completed, then it is time to let your Project Manager begin his or her research on ERP software for manufacturing!

 

Keep a lookout for the next five Quick Tips, which will go over the six rules of ERP implementation!

October 3, 2018 MIE Solutions Marketing

Quick Tip: The Good, The Bad,  and The Ugly of ERP

 

When you begin to consider ERP software implementation for  your business, it is important to be aware of the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of ERP software before doing so.

 

The Good…

 

  1. Reduces operational and administrative costs. If a company’s sales department and financial department are not linked together, then each time Sales creates a quote, the Finance department must re-enter the same information to create an invoice. Repetition of this sort leads to wasted time and data entry errors. With ERP software as a solution that connects the two departments, you can reduce time and, therefore, reduce cost.
  2. Streamlines your operations. Use ERP software to eliminate inefficiencies. This is important if you want to grow, as a company!
  3. Creates growth. Having efficient processes in place when growth occurs makes hiring, training, and opening new locations much smoother. 
  4. Allows controls. ERP software helps you know what is going on with every line item, every order, every shipment, every payment, etc. It allows you to control each process at the administrative level and create consistency throughout each process.
  5. Accurate reporting. ERP software contains a unified data layer that provides a diverse set of reporting possibilities. It can also give consistent and timely data that shows you everything you need to know when you need to know it. All departments have access to the same data, so there is no confusion about the number of sales, revenue, etc.
  6.  Integration. Internal integration is exactly what ERP software is all about; it is built to integrate all modules to easily communicate with each other. External integration, however, may still be needed. For example, you might want to  include an EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) system, which links sales and delivery data from one system to another.

 

The Bad…

 

  1. It can be costly. While ERP software is a powerful tool and should certainly help your company manage processes and growth, these systems can be expensive. There are many costs that go into your purchase of ERP software, including licenses, implementation, support, and possibly upgraded computers and other equipment. ERP software is not cheap, so be ready for an investment. 
  2. Requires time and energy to implement. Organizational changes may be required with ERP implementation.  Your team must take time to learn the software and implementation/training can sometimes seem daunting. This is why MIE Solutions offers multiple training options, including on-site, classroom, and online training.
  3. Implementation going out of scope. In many cases, companies underestimate ERP implementation time and effort required for training. This can lead to financial loss due to time-related costs (such as monthly license costs and staff salaries)
  4. Constraints. ERP software can be flexible but it may not be as flexible as some of the individual modules you have been using. Because of the way each feature/module connects within an ERP system, it may not be possible to make each module perfectly customizable for every manufacturing company.

 

 

 

The Ugly…

 

  1. Risk of failure. One of the preventable statistics, although true, is that over ⅓ of ERP implementations fail. In some cases, the costs and setup time were so high that the project was abandoned. In many cases, the company may have invested in a system that, altogether, was not a good fit.
  2. Indirect losses. If the ERP implementation or software is a failure, you can lose revenue, create organizational issues, and your employees may lose trust in your company and its decision-makers.

 

An ERP system can be extremely beneficial to your organization if it is needed and implemented correctly. Our goal, at MIE Solutions, is to make sure that our software is a good fit for our customers and that our customers are a good fit for our software.

 

 

Keep a lookout for the next Quick Tip: “Questions to Ask Your ERP Vendors”

 

September 25, 2018 MIE Solutions Marketing

MIE Trak Pro named a High Performer in the Grid Report for ERP Systems by Real Users on G2 Crowd

 

MIE Trak Pro has been identified as one of the best ERP Systems, based on its high levels of customer satisfaction and likeliness to recommend ratings from real users on G2 Crowd, the world’s leading business solutions review website.

 

“We want to thank our customers for supporting MIE Solutions with their feedback and playing a vital part in the success and continual improvement of our software, MIE Trak Pro.” -David Ferguson, Owner, CEO.

 

MIE Trak Pro achieved the “High Performer” status on the Grid Report for ERP Systems by receiving positive reviews from verified users compared to similar products in the ERP Systems category. For inclusion in the report, a product must have received ten or more reviews.

 

“Rankings on G2 Crowd reports are based on data provided to us by real users,” said Michael Fauscette, chief research officer of G2 Crowd. “We are excited to share the achievements of the products ranked on our site because they represent the voice of the user and offer terrific insights to potential buyers around the world.”

 

View the G2 Crowd report here!

 

Learn more about what real users have to say (or leave your own review of MIE Trak Pro) on G2 Crowd’s MIE Trak Pro review page!

 

About G2 Crowd

 

G2 Crowd, the world’s leading business solution review platform, leverages more than 381,000 user reviews to drive better purchasing decisions. Business professionals, buyers, investors, and analysts use the site to compare and select the best software and services based on peer reviews and synthesized social data. Every month, more than one million people visit G2 Crowd’s site to gain unique insights.