2 Phase ERP Implementation: Here's How We Mitigate the Risks of an ERP Project
Understanding the benefits of a two phased ERP implementation for Dynamics 365 with Kwixand Solutions.
If you're considering an ERP implementation project for your organization, you are probably well aware that it is the highest risk project a company can take on. The reason is simple – enterprise resource planning solutions impact every part of an organization's operations, from quote to cash to manufacturing, distribution, inventory management, and more. A lot can go wrong during an ERP implementation that can increase costs and exceed your initial timeline.
This fear of going over budget and schedule is one of the most significant barriers to companies engaging in an ERP project, notes David Doyle, Director of Sales and Marketing of Kwixand Solutions. "As a result of being afraid of these risks, some companies are slow to make the changes they need, which means they are not getting the value and benefit of a modern ERP solution. This led us to develop a two-part implementation methodology for Dynamics 365 solutions that mitigates these risks for our clients."
So How Does our 2-Phase Implementation For Dynamics 365 Work?
✅ Phase 1 is a deep dive into the client's business processes
During Phase 1, the Kwixand Solutions' professional services team meets with key individuals at the client site to collect business requirements. "We collect a lot of information about the company's business processes and, more importantly, why those processes exist. We document all of that in a very deep level of detail," shares David. Those findings are presented internally to the other Kwixand Solutions team members, who generate more questions to ask the client. The lead on the project goes back to the client to get the answers and updates the document accordingly.
"It's an iterative process that goes around and around until we can't think of any more questions to ask, "says David. "Which typically means we have asked all of the important questions. We have an excellent understanding of the client's business functional requirements at this point."
Once the business functional requirements document is complete, the team begins analyzing the new ERP software the client has selected. They assess which requirements are available out-of-the-box, identify gaps in the software, and design solutions to fill those gaps.
From this exercise, a project plan is built based upon the estimated effort to implement everything in the functional requirements document. Once the project plan is complete, the team can estimate a schedule, which depends on the complexity of the implementation. Finally, a proposal document is created that provides a fixed-fee price to implement the new Dynamics 365 solution.
✅ Phase 2 is when the ERP implementation is delivered
During Phase 2, the Kwixand Solutions team executes the implementation of the Microsoft ERP solution that was outlined in the requirements document from Phase 1 at a fixed-fee price.
"At this point, the financial risk for the client has been removed," explains David. "They knew ahead of time what the financial investment would be to get a system that fulfills all of their requirements in that document. And barring any unforeseen circumstances, they also know what the timeline or schedule is."
In this way, a two-phase ERP implementation mitigates all the significant ERP project risks for clients because they know exactly what they're getting in their new system and how much it will cost and how long it will take from the onset.
✅ There is no obligation to continue after phase 1
One thing to keep in mind is that after a company completes their phase 1 and receives the proposal and other documents, there is absolutely no obligation to move into phase 2 or the actual implementation with Kwixand Solutions.
"As they now have a buying toolkit after phase one, I always tell the clients that they can take those documents to another ERP partner and shop it around," says David. "In my history of using this methodology, there have been two times when clients have done exactly that. And both times, they came back to us and engaged Kwixand for phase two."
✅ Companies interested in continuous improvement can opt for another phase
The Kwixand team also presents all other opportunities that can help a company achieve more value from their new system, outside of the desired requirements. If a company is interested in continuous improvement, these can be added in an additional phase 3 after the ERP implementation.
"We want to give you a solution that is perfect for your business," says David. "But we don't want to give you functionality that you don't actually require right now. That's because it's difficult to make that judgment call until you get working in your new ERP system and understand first-hand what the extra capabilities can bring."
"We'd much rather offer a model where we can hit reasonable milestones that deliver value, and then we take that pause to evaluate. If it makes sense to add additional functionality and customization, we can create a new phase for that, instead of crushing your internal resources, trying to implement everything simultaneously."
What's the Difference Between our Two-Phase Implementation and a Kwixstart Implementation?
There is a massive difference between these two types of ERP implementation methodologies. A Kwixstart implementation is a fixed-fee lean implementation. It's typically much more straightforward and is designed for companies with 20 users or less who are either looking to implement their first ERP solution or are upgrading from entry-level accounting software. There is a set list of deliverables that is included in the fixed fee price. While there is a discovery process, it does not compare to the discovery process conducted in the two-phase implementation. Another massive difference is that our Kwixstart implementation plans are only geared towards Business Central ERP while the 2 phase implementations are for any of the Dynamics 365 solutions.
"They are completely different types of ERP implementations," explains David. "In Kwixstart, we help your company adopt its first ERP solution and fit your business processes to the software. In our two-phase ERP implementation, we fit the software to your business, and where it doesn't fit or has gaps, we create custom solutions to bridge those."
Ready to Get Started? Book a Free Consultation
If you have questions about our 2 phase ERP implementations or have an ERP project in mind, discover how we can help your business mitigate the risks of ERP implementation by getting in touch with the Kwixand Solutions team. You can contact us directly or book a free consultation here.
About Kwixand Solutions
Kwixand Solutions is a Microsoft Partner and we help businesses across Canada and the US digitally transform and thrive with Dynamics 365. For us, successful digital transformation is much more than just implementing an ERP or CRM solution - it's about helping businesses achieve their goals and maximizing their ROI!