If someone were to ask you the best time to implement new software, what would you say?
You might like the vast majority of business owners answer January 1st. And that wouldn't be wrong.... years ago.
But today that's no longer really true. January 1 marks the beginning of a calendar year, not a seasonal year. And in the old world you always went live on January 1st for accounting purposes primarily. In today's ERP software systems where accounting id NOT the primary function what you really want to do is match your deployment to your selling-production season calendar, not the traditional annual calendar.
Instead of January 1st - Go Live with The Seasonality of Your Business
Here’s what I mean...
Let’s say you have both snow and landscape clients. It is a much better idea to schedule your go live with one of those seasons. Let’s pick snow and work backwards.
You want to be ready and have your staff completely trained and production going live by November 15th. This means that sales needs to be live by August 15th. Which means that your system administration should be live by July 1st.
System Administration Live
All your data from your old system is in the new system including contacts, properties, estimating service and item catalogs, pricing, user roles, and hardware setup.
This paves the way for...
All your old contracts are loaded and ready for renewal and re-pricing and your sales people can begin to manage their leads and prospects and bid and present new work in the system winning new contracts and meeting sales goals.
This sets the table for…
All sold contracts and the related materials and equipment are assigned to routes by area manager, crew, subcontractor and ready for when the first snow event occurs. It also means that contracts are set up for event billing and the crews and subs are trained to use the Crew Mobile app. Your salt and chemicals are purchased and ready to be allocated using the Purchase and Inventory modules.
[[Related Reading: Crew Mobile Software for the Field]]
This happens when you and your customers need it to happen, not when your accounting people want it to happen. Transferring accounting sheet balances is really all that is required in the month when you “start”, which in this case using my example will be November 1st.
There is no magic in going live on January 1st as this process as I described it will not affect your year-end close. In fact, it will make it easier as you are not ending and starting something at the same time.
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