Preparing for an Acumatica Implementation
A fresh new year is always ushered in by a week of holiday adventures. For those of us who choose not to take that last week of the year off, it’s the week we reap the rewards of taking our vacations during low season. It’s blissfully quiet and you get to catch up on all the work that you’ve left on the back-burner (maybe you’ll even clear your inbox). Queue in the often-discussed Acumatica implementation that you and your finance team have always fantasized about during your monthly management meetings. In the loud office silence of holiday cheer, you take advantage of uninterrupted work days to craft the perfect plan for convincing everyone to make the jump.
Fast-forward to mid-January. You’ve masterfully convinced all the key stakeholders that an Acumatica implementation is not only essential to your organization, but it’s practically a New Year’s resolution! You’ve worked with your partner, Catapult, to set the gears in motion for getting everything up and going with a go-live date that’s just shy of your Fall beach vacation. As you take your next steps to bring your plan to fruition, here are a few things to consider when planning and supporting your implementation.
Expect but Minimize Business Interruption
No matter how you decide to layout your project, there will be some interruption to your business. Aside from the typical additional workload for your project team members, your organization will need to be prepared to experience downtime during deployment and cutover to go-live. Before you are ready to go live in Acumatica, you will have to migrate information over from your previous ERP system. The time between you taking the data from your old system and migrating all the data into your new system is a blackout period.
During this time, you may opt to do a few things to make it easier for transitioning to the new system.
- Continue Operations – If you choose to continue your operations, you will have to re-enter all the activities during your blackout date from your old system into your new system after you go live. This can be a substantial volume of manual entry depending on your business.
- Delay Posting New Activities – Some organizations may opt to not post any new business activity until they are fully migrated into the new system.
- Strategically Adjust Go-Live – Others may strategically plan their go-live for a Monday, adopting natural closed business days to perform all of their go-live migration tasks.
Pick a Go-Live Date, but Not Any Date
Certain dates work better for going live. For example, cutting over at the beginning of a new month allows your organization to load their opening balances based on the previous month-end. There would be additional tasks for the project team once the balances are closed, but this will allow you to reconcile and close out a full month in your new Acumatica Cloud ERP system. Planning for your cutover tasks to be done during a weekend? Even better! This allows you to minimize the impact to your business operations and possible even eliminate the need to perform parallel postings in both systems.
Other things to consider for your go-live date are any key financial processes that may be impacted by the business interruption, such as EFTs or payroll. These processes, if they occur in your old system after you have started your cutover tasks, will have to be re-entered to ensure they balance.
Plan a Dry Run
Call it what you want, but a dry run essentially allows your staff to go through all the steps of a go-live without actually going live. This is typically done one month prior to the go-live date and has two key outcomes for the project. First, it provides your key end users and project team an idea of the mechanics and effort required to complete migrating data from your old ERP system into Acumatica. The time it takes for the project team to complete this task will give you an idea of how long your blackout period will be.
Second, it allows you to identify and address any additional issues that you may not have caught in user acceptance testing (UAT). While you UAT may be methodical with test suites, cases, and everything else, nothing resonates truer to end-users than going through a dry run with real data. You will find that you may still catch a few issues during this period.
Ease Your Mind with Dedicated Support Services
Getting to the end of your Acumatica implementation is one to be celebrated, with a beach vacation of course! However, before you go, know that this is just the beginning of a new chapter in your Acumatica adventures. Dealing with unexpected issues and items that need changing are a way of life for any ERP system, which shows the value of having dedicated support services. Just imagine going on your relaxing vacation only to return to a system that has grinded to a halt filled with bugs requiring a fix.
You can rest assured with your toes dug into the warm sand having a dedicated support services plan that provides clear processes for diagnostics, issue resolution, QA and deployment. Whether you need urgent troubleshooting, minor enhancements, configuration changes, maintenance, or even system administration, know that everything can be taken care of without affecting your daily business operation.