The Implementation Dilemma – Using Customizations to Smoothen the Transition
ERP/CRM system, such as Leasing software, customization is being increasingly misused for the wrong reasons, putting a heavy toll on the ROI of the project from the get-go. Normally, developing customizations to provide indispensable features that are absent in the piece of software in question is an invaluable tool to improve workflows. Unfortunately, that is not all they are being used for. Instead, some companies spend time and resources developing customizations that are made to ease the transition to the new tool, which end up being abandoned soon after, when the people using the system get familiar with it and don’t need them anymore.
It is a fact that most humans are not fond of change. They have their processes, habits, and preferences. They like to stick to them if possible. What happens when a company goes through a merger, reorganization or has to adapt to using a new ERP/CRM system? The employees start grumbling, often saying things like: “Yes, but with the old system…”, “But we’re used to doing it this way now…”, and “This is how it’s always been done, though.”
The discord expressed by the people who will end up using the system can be strict and uncompromising, they can just refuse to accept it. More often, however, it is more subtle and has long-lasting consequences that will weigh down your bottom line for months or maybe even years. When met with discontent from the team, management may feel tempted to try and ease the transition by developing various customizations to the new system that would make it look and feel like the one their employees are used to. This way of solving adoption issues is a band-aid solution. It is like buying a brand new Ferrari and trying to replace the steering wheel and seats with the ones from your old Mazda because your driver can’t drive a Ferrari without crashing. Yet.
What will happen to the customizations you implemented after your team inevitably gets used to the new ERP/CRM system?
The customizations that cost you so much will never get used again. And you will be lucky if someone remembers to cancel the maintenance payments you would have been paying for ages, stressing your bottom line needlessly once again. What if the software developer releases a brand new version of your system and you would be a fool to keep using the old one? All of the customizations you implemented may just end up making the transition more technically complicated than it would have been without them.
Customizing the new system to feel as close to the old one as possible is not a solution, obviously. But what is the right way to do it? In short, communication. Start early, long before the implementation process starts. Discuss the reasons for adopting the new ERP/CRM system with your team. Try to get your employees excited about it. Explain how it will make their job easier and the business more profitable. Offer a way for them to learn to use the new system before it is implemented so that they don’t get hit in the face by all the new buttons that can get overwhelming very quickly.
ERP/CRM system customizations are a beautiful but dangerous beast. When used correctly, they can have an immediate positive impact on your workflows by providing absent functionality that is of vital importance to what your company does. These kinds of customizations are worth every cent. They are beautiful. Then there are customizations of a different kind, where they are ordered by panicking leaders when the system that was supposed to help their company is being universally rejected by dissatisfied employees. This is the dangerous side of the coin and can be avoided by extensive communication before the implementation of the new ERP/CRM system begins. Get your team behind the switch in the beginning and you will not have to work to fix it later. Let this be the first win for your new system.
SOFT4Leasing team knows these issues and are ready to help you get the best worth for your money. Contact us and we can discuss the best way to move forward to achieve your business needs.