Mid implementation

  • 5 January 2024
  • 6 replies
  • 186 views

We are an organization of around 50 users who has made the jump switching to Acumatica. I would guess we are about ½ way through our implementation with a go-live scheduled for June 1 2024. We have gone through initial configuration and we are now in the process of having customizations built by our VAR including integration of Netstock and a few other 3rd party solutions. I wanted to see if there are users out there that have gone through implementation recently or are close to go live and can let me know what things they did that were helpful to a successful transition, detrimental to their transition and anything else you recommend we keep our eyes on.

Thanks


6 replies

Userlevel 2

Hi @JpetersSanico ,

 

My company completed the transition from Quickbooks and Excel spreadsheets to Acumatica in January 2023, so we have just over a year in the system now. We are similarly sized (around 70 employees), although we started by going live with the essentials at around 10 users and are still ramping up to using the full system.

It’s been going well so far and we love the flexibility the system allows for in terms of customization, but we’re still no where near integrating everything that we wanted.

A big set back for us was the completeness and cleanliness of our data coming into the system. Some of it was rushed due to a short implementation timeframe, but I also didn’t think we realized how essential it was to have everything as clean as possible.

Another big piece I wish we could have spent more time on was the configuration piece and understanding the inputs and outputs of each transaction. Some of the configuration was a best-guess effort at the time and we found out very quick how difficult it is to correct errors when records are released and they are all tied in 4 or 5 different places.

Lastly, is training. We relied heavily on our implementation partners to train our users and didn’t spend enough time digging through the help wiki articles, leveraging Acumatica Open University, or even here sifting through the forums. Even though our partners did a great job with training sessions, we were making mistakes early on that could have been avoided by doing some self-paced training.

I will say, the one thing that continues to impress about Acumatica is the ample amount of help resources available. I’ve found really thorough answers through all avenues whether it be our Acumatica partners, the community forums, Acumatica Open University, YouTube videos, the yearly summit… No matter where you turn there is no shortage of help.

I hope some of this information helps. Feel free to reach out to me directly if you want to talk in more detail. Best of luck to you on your upcoming implementation!

 

Userlevel 5
Badge +3

Training - I have never heard someone complain after a go-live that they trained too much. Getting repeated, hands-on experience with real scenarios in a sandbox environment is the best thing you can do for your users. They’ll get familiar with processes, ask questions, and build confidence. These are all critical to user adoption. It’s also an opportunity to test your processes. As users wander through the system, they’ll find gaps and identify areas that need to be addressed.

For third party integrations – have a plan for auditing that Acumatica and the other system are in sync. How will you know if a transaction didn’t flow back to Acumatica? How will you fix a discrepancy between the two systems?

Users – patience and compassion will go a long way. This can also be an incredibly stressful event for your users. Change can be difficult, especially if you are moving away from a familiar legacy system or dramatically altering someone’s role. Check in with users (not just trainers and supervisors) often before AND after the go-live. Some people will likely need to be coached on giving constructive feedback, but making sure your users know that you care and are listening to their concerns helps a lot.

Userlevel 5
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Test customizations thoroughly. If it’s privately developed by your partner, there will be expectation gaps between what was implemented based on the brief, and the reality of your business actual transactions. 3rd party out-of-the-box solutions should be better, but they may not fit the custom needs of your business. And many basic things can be done with a mixture of automation schedules - business events - GI - import scenarios, so make sure code customizations are actually required in the first place. 

Rely less on your implementation partner and focus more on your internal team. Hire contract staff if you have to - if you’re doing a parallel implementation, existing staff will likely already be tied up with their existing work. Insufficient manpower will just lead to the system falling behind and becoming even more obsolete. 

Appoint key users within your organisation and free up as much of their time as possible for being the topic matter experts in the ERP system. They are the employees which you will count on when things fail. SMEs rarely have enough resources to hire much additional staff, but the cost of the implementation if it fails is even more expensive.

At least in our experience, your partner rarely understands the specific circumstances behind the business - they can demonstrate ‘best usage’ based on textbook examples, but reality is often much more complicated with many edge cases. They will not be the ones sifting through your obsolete old data and managing the nitty gritty of the implementation beyond the surface level setup and imports.

Userlevel 6
Badge +5

Don’t underestimate how much more manpower you may end up needing the accounting department.  It won’t be because Acumatica takes more time, it’ll be because you are doing more than you did before.  Good data leads to better decisions, faster growth and eases stress downstream, but it will take more work get enter all this data now that you have somewhere to put it all.

@kokjietan’s comment about contractors.  Figure out what your VAR is good and talk to them about areas you feel they are lacking for your specific needs.  No one can do it all, you may need to find help in a specific area from a contractor or focus on getting internal staff trained.  The hard part is often process development, not which buttons to push or fields to fill out, as @kokjietan mentioned your staff will know your business as intimately as you and your staff.  

Userlevel 3
Badge

Hi @JpetersSanico 

We made the jump in April 2023 from excel to Acumatica.

It has been a tough journey because of how little employees were trained by the VARs and how the change was not properly analysed for the effects on everyday work.

Leadership was constantly changing and since then, all original employees in charge of the project have left.

Myself and a few others had to pick up the slack to train the employees as best as we could through trial and error and to build the relationship with our VARs which was quite soured.

The one thing which i would recommend, which i agree is very hard, is complete communication throughout the organisation and with your VAR, they will truly be your biggest help throughout this.

Do not be scared to challenge them on certain features and aspects of training, and if you need to push ’Go-Live’ back due to employees not being up to scratch DO IT!!!

It is much better to push go live back a month or two and ensure that the team are fully trained rather than going all in with only part of the skills you need to keep afloat.

So, main points from me: communication & training are paramount, make them your priority.

Userlevel 3
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We went live January 2024 coming off an old Great Plains system, so are just going through our first month end close.

I’ll echo what was said above - training, training, training.  That is very important for the end-users.  While we had good training from our VAR, they took a train-the-trainer approach, so we had to figure out how to train everyone else.  None of our trainers had more than that initial training, so they were not prepared to answer questions and things can spin for a bit before getting resolved.

The other very important thing is buy in.  We had 100% of our employees ready and willing to get off our old system.  So we were lucky in that we had everyone bought in and excited to move forward on a new system.  This helped with patience and communication quite a bit.  It also helped us with setting expectations.  We were sure to say things like “it won’t be perfect on day one” a lot.  Effectively lowering the bar a bit so the teams were aiming to have basic order processing, manufacturing, pick/pack/ship, financials type of system on day one.  We kept a log of all issues - and we still have 100’s of them - but the daily operation is functioning, and the users know and see that we are working on fixing/enhancing the open items every day.  We did not have much flexibility on our go live date, either, as we have a very busy peak season spring - fall, so we had to make decisions to go live with what we had.  In a different business, it would have been better to push our go live 60 days to allow for more training, testing and issue resolution.

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