Manufacturers: What Can You Expect from a Synergy Resources ERP Implementation?
Part 2 of a 2-Part Series. Click here to Read Part 1.
We recently held an interview with Synergy Resources’ Matt Morgan and Bob Wotherspoon about best practices in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementations. The discussion highlights how Synergy Resources empowers ERP end users to achieve success.
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Q: Can you talk about the team who supports the implementation?
Matt: We assign a full team to every implementation. Our team includes a dedicated project manager, an operations manufacturing specialist and a financial specialist. Additionally, the customer is assigned two technical specialists: one who focuses on the ERP application and network; and one who focuses on data.
Q: When does the actual implementation begin?
Matt: The implementation starts with Synergy Resources’ project manager making contact with the customer’s project manager. They get down into planning out the whole project. That’s done remotely within a couple weeks of signing.
Q: Can Synergy Resources deliver its implementation onsite, virtually, or online?
Matt: It’s all three. Our preferred methodology is onsite, face to face for the majority of the implementation. We require an onsite visit up front because we need to get to know the customer!
Some customers are more budget-conscious than others. For that reason, we’ve developed a capability to deliver the majority of the implementation remotely; if it’s appropriate for the customer.
Q: Does Synergy Resources send any documents to help the customer get started?
Matt: Yes. The customer is sent a Welcome Packet from Synergy Resources with some valuable information for them to start thinking about. The Welcome Packet includes a list of key team member names at Synergy Resources. There’s a document with key things to think about: what can you do to prepare for your implementation? We also include information about how to access the Infor Xtreme* portal where the customer can gain 24/7/365 access to support resources that are specific to their Infor ERP application.
Q: Does Synergy Resources offer self-directed learning?
Matt: We do offer self-directed learning for our customers. For one, there’s a wealth of resources available to our customers who use Infor applications. For example, there are recorded sessions, user guides and manuals that end users can access directly through Infor VISUAL ERP.
For another, Synergy Resources offers a number of online workshops that are led by real live instructors. We offer a multitude of general workshops for our customers to choose from. However, upon request we can host customer-specific workshops to satisfy those with specific training needs.
Whether we workshop onsite or online, the best practice is to work within the customer’s pilot database. We’ll set up and use the customer’s own data to get through the steps. We’ve found that it makes the learning experience highly relevant for our customers.
Q: What’s the sequence of events?
Matt: After the initial contact with the customer’s executive sponsor, the next step is a meeting between Synergy Resources’ project manager and the customer’s project manager. Together, they go through a detailed planning meeting. We have a kickoff meeting and then we roll into current and future state process mapping. We like all of these events to occur within four weeks of signing.
Q: What happens at the kickoff meeting?
Matt: The official start with the customer’s complete team is called the kickoff meeting. In the kickoff meeting, we gather the customer’s executive team, project manager and core implementation team who are referred to as ‘process owners’. Process owners are those individual people who take ownership of specific processes such as purchasing, sales, scheduling and so forth.
We lay out the project so that everybody knows what to expect. Kickoff meeting discussion points include what the customer can expect from us and what we expect from the customer over the course of the implementation.
Q: What happens after the kickoff?
Matt: We get right into it. We go into the current and future state process mapping for all of the customer’s disciplines. That’s an intensive session that usually lasts about four days.
Q: What differentiates Synergy Resources from other resellers?
Matt: We get to know each and every process owner and what they’re dealing with. What are their pains? We don’t tell process owners how to do their jobs. What we do through our current and future state process mapping is to act as a facilitator. Empowering ERP end users is a key success factor.
The people in the room are the ones who are mapping out that ideal future state. The end users are designing that ideal future state. That’s automatic buy in because they’ve designed it. They know what works best. We’re going to make the software work around that ideal future state. That’s our big differentiator.
About the Experts
• Matthew ‘Matt’ Morgan is Director of Business Systems Deployment at Synergy Resources.
• Bob Wotherspoon is a Business Improvement Advisor for Tier II Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software for the discrete manufacturing sector at Synergy Resources.
*Infor Xtreme: ‘You’ll also be able to access critical support resources, including software patches, service packs, updates, release notes, a comprehensive knowledge base, recorded briefings, and online communities—24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.’ Source: https://www.inforxtreme.com.
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Thomas M. Birdwell, III