Fast ERP implementations exist and we have the case to prove it. At the end of last year I got a call from someone who was busy with building a start-up. This up-and-coming company would operate under the flag of the Swedish Greenfood Group and is in need of a fast ERP implementation. The parent company was already running our Foodware solution so it made perfect sense to advice them to reach-out to us. "Great!", I replied enthusiastically, “So when do you want this ready?". To which they answered: “Within 6 months.”. "Impossible", I thought to myself, “or is it not?”
Written by William van Zweeden
My innitial answer was “That unfortunately will not work”. A second later I had an idea that would set us up towards a new approach and a fresh course of actions. “We’ll make it work, even if we have to reconsider everything”. And we did.
To have a fully integrated & fast ERP implementation system for the 1st of January sounded pretty much impossible. Luckily, because of the start-up nature of the company, the business processes were not yet set in stone, which is why adapting and modelling them was of no issue. Instead of adapting the system to the business processes, we could simply apply the business processes to the system. And naturally that’s a bit of a play on turning the world upside-down. Nevertheless, this is not a common occurrence in ICT, where you ensure that the system meets the needs and wishes of the end-user.
We have created the leading application for this specific case and decided together that if this is the desired implementation approach and if we do want it ready by the 1st of January, then this is how it will follow through. Yet due to dealing with a short time frame, we had to move even further into the applicability of the implementation. Setting up the system takes a relatively short amount of time, so that was done with pretty quickly. Everything must also be thoroughly tested, not to mention the user’ trainings. In essence the challenges that lied ahead were directed not just at us, but also at Greenfood. Because when you build a start-up, you are already busy and in over your head with everything else.
Hence the reason why we reduced the scope to a minimum. Basic purchase and sales invoices, entering orders, the ledger accounts etc., in order for, after the quarter, to showcase to the tax authorities what has been happening. We have set priorities and then got to work.
We have agreed to have the ERP environment up and running in two weeks. In any case sticking to a three months’ period in which we offer support through Managed Services. Finally, we’ve managed to go live in 11 days. For the IT-related services, they could simply reach out for assistance. Afterwards, we have further expanded the scope of the operation.
The essence of this story is that we can, with a very limited investment in both time and money, help start-ups go live quickly. And not to mention that the customers are then using a platform with which you can grow tremendously. Greenfood Benelux now operates with the same ERP solution as the parent company in Sweden, the same solution used by our largest customers in multiple offices across multiple countries. And now they do have a platform to be able to scale from. Additional modules and options can be switched on and off if the need arises. And so it turns out that something that at first glance seemed to be practically impossible turned out to be a completely successful and fast ERP implementation. And that’s a great process to be part of!