In one recent engagement, our client was conducting a phased ERP implementation across their manufacturing facilities and supply chain functions. The ERP implementation partner understood the software capabilities well, but due to budget and time constraints primarily focused on the technical aspects of go-live. Consequently, business functions were working in silos. The material setup was fragmented, leading to issues in planning for demand, supply, and manufacturing scheduling. To add to the difficulties, business processes were not well-defined pre-implementation. A lack of process clarity in the pre-existing paper-based systems was carried forward to the ERP solution. Additionally, although a subset of master data was prepared and used to complete system and user testing, a great deal of the additional data required to conduct business going forward was not made available in the ERP system. As a result, after a successful technical go-live, no business transactions occurred in the system for months, until the balance of the relevant data was available. Overall, the outcome was less than successful.
To contrast, in another engagement, our client was implementing their ERP solution’s Inventory Management Module in preparation for commercial launch. The client had a well-established paper-based system and processes, and business users were educated with the desired system capabilities. Although the ERP implementation firm had no prior experience in the life sciences industry, a core team of business users from relevant functions was assembled from the start of the implementation project. They attended a vendor-led session to learn about system configuration options and provided input for required system functionality. Additionally, all the relevant master data was cleaned and migrated prior to go-live. Thus, business processes could be transacted in the system as intended, simultaneously achieving successful technical and business go-lives.