Selection and implementation of major systems occur in small- to mid-size businesses about every seven to ten years according to most software publishers. The need to move to new a new system is the result of:
- Current software being retired (obsolete technology
- Need to change due to limited feature/functionality
- Need to change due to growth
This means early technology adopters of computerized business solutions may be on their third software system and headed into their fourth selection. Regardless of the reason for the transition to a new product, or the number of systems business has implemented, a software implementation will always have a major impact on your organization. These impacts include:
- investment in software (cash flow)
- added demand to the workload of team members (available labor resources)
- the impact on customer service during new system rollout (customer satisfaction) Minimizing these impacts is critical and can be accomplished with rigorous planning.
Additionally, each software implementation should result in business process redesign. Most existing business processes evolve as a result of three primary factors:
- 1) processes designed to meet client service and quality demand 2) processes designed to maximize existing software features 3) processes evolved to overcome existing software limitations
Business processes should ideally be designed to meet the client’s expectations and leverage your competitive differentiators in the marketplace. Too frequently, at the end of a software implementation firms find themselves with the business process that is being defined by software restrictions. Initiating a solid plan must be done before your software evaluation process is initiated, and identifies not only functional software needs but also areas of business process improvement.
After thorough preselection planning, an organized selection process that quantifies the value of features and measures them against your required business processes, the final and most crucial stage is implementation. This process must include routine status meeting to ensure predefined milestones have been achieved, testing of both
data results and process changes, through education, and the documentation of new procedures. Your “go-live” day can then be a “non-event”.
Your engagement with CS3 will follow a proven evaluation and implementation methodology known as our Plus7 Process™. This 7-point model spans the project lifecycle and is consistent across all our engagements.
PlusOne – Discovery. Your consultative sales process centers around a comprehensive discovery phase. This stage includes interviews with your key team members in order to detail critical issues and your critical needs. The information is translated into your Summary of Findings Document with a Return on Investment statement that defines the savings your solution should yield.
PlusTwo – Design. Utilizing your Summary of Findings Document, your business consultant will develop a solution designed to address your key business issues. Taking a holistic approach, CS3 will evaluate the options and present the best recommendations to you. In more complex projects, your implementation could value from a CS3 Blueprint, a detailed system design to defining the existing business process, gap analysis requirements of your new system.
PlusThree – Planning. Project planning and management are vital to your successful implementation. All engagements at CS3 include a closely monitored project plan to ensure your project remains on task, on time, and on budget. Your project plan will function as your “reality check”, ensuring scheduling, resources, and finances are defined and scrutinized.
PlusFour - Tools. Your toolbox will be filled according to your specific project needs. Depending on your project, it may include software, data conversion tools, templates, and checklists. Many of these tools have been developed by CS3 based on years of experience, knowing what our clients need most. Recommended software has been hand-selected and vetted to assure high performance, rich functionality, and stability of both the software and the publisher.