Shepherd implementations often coincide with NetSuite implementations. The latter implementation, of course, dictates the implementation schedule and key dates. Shepherd is also, however, a large product whose implementation may also require considerable time. Just how long your NetSuite and your Shepherd implementations take depends most on you, the client. You must define the requirements for go-live, identify those that are a “must have” versus those that are a “nice to have”. The very best program managers are those who can sift through legion requests and prioritize them accordingly while skirting the politics that often enshroud requests.
Preparedness in the face of a major change or process is paramount and implementation is no different. Certainly, Shepherd will bring the full weight of its experience to bear on the process but you too, as the client, need to be as prepared as possible. As described above, prioritisation of features comes from within the client organisation.
Answers that can only come from within
If such decisions are known to take a while (it happens in all organisations to one degree or another), realistically factor that time in prior to implementation if at all possible. Such considerations include the additional resources you’ll need on tap to help things go smoothly, a plan to manage the extra workload with as little impact on your operations and the well-being of your staff as possible. Moving away from the human aspect, there is also the data side: is your data or high or low quality? Do you need to clean it up or reorganise it before it starts being useful to the implementation process?
A further question whose answer needs consideration is whether or not Shepherd functionality is at the core of your business needs. If it is, it is important to limit conflicts between any NetSuite and Shepherd implementations. To do this it is advisable that Shepherd be included in all data modelling and solution architecture planning from the outset.
Advice on tap
There is always a Phase 2 and after that there will be a Phase 3 and so on. Is it better to push the release of a specific feature so that your business might go-live earlier or lighter? Only you can answer that question. As implementers, Shepherd staff are responsible for advising you on that subject, but we do take final instruction from the program manager.
It is useful to imagine a new implementation as a new home. Accept this analogy, and the very next question that you must answer is will it be your dream home or do you wish to move in? There are two answers to that question and there is a place for both in business. Please, however, consider that tradeoff in terms of two metrics: time and money.
It is often Shepherd’s recommendation that its clients not suffer any functional deficits when leaving their old ERP for Shepherd and NetSuite but that they consider carefully the implementation of anything new. The implementation should resolve existing feature deficits and pain points wherever possible so long as it does not mean dragging out the go-live date too far into the future. Appreciate, however, that your implementation will extend well beyond go-live. Subsequent phases are often the best place to schedule the release of nice to have functionality. On each occasion that you do so, your go-live becomes one step closer.
Implementations must never become stale. Let them become so and your competition will gain on you. NetSuite has a major release twice each year. Shepherd schedules new releases every second week. Both NetSuite and Shepherd release include new functionality meant to keep your business ahead.
Shepherd wants you live and quickly. Think of your go-live as establishing your beach head. Ensuing pushes constitute subsequent phases in an offensive that never ends.
If you want more insights on how to prepare for CMMS implementation, get in touch and see how we can help.