How we take implementation to the next level
At SI, every day we’re implementing systems within environments that we really understand, and across all segments of the perishable food industry. Our team leaders each have more than 15 years experience of working within the food production sector and a wealth of know-how about all the challenges of upgrading to a new system.
What makes our approach different to our competitors approaches? Our implementation specialists take on the management of your project from the moment of handover by our sales team. From this point we are focused on documenting a system that specifically meets your needs, which is why our implementation team will spend up to 3 days on site gathering information from across all your processes and functional areas. We call this essential exercise FRD (Functional Requirements Documentation).
Why is such emphasis placed on the FRD’s importance?
We believe that the FRD is one of our main points of distinction in comparison to mainstream ERP players. It’s all about uncovering the nuances of your business processing, reducing the number of unknowns and working towards getting it right first time. It provides a route map and the basis for the final implementation plan. Once our experts have written up your specific requirements, we present this information back and provide you with the opportunity to feedback and so that we can refine and document any specific configurations.
How do we ensure goverance of the implementation process?
Once the FRD is agreed and signed off we will develop the detailed implementation plan in a fluid GANTT chart format. This becomes the blueprint for setting up a replica system at SI, including all the peripheral data capture points, meaning that the solution we deliver to you is always tried and tested.
All your change requirements will be logged via SIs Help Desk for our development teams attention, and managed through the implementation team. Any changes to the plan will be communicated to all stakeholders via weekly minutes.
We have custom-designed software, built on MS Team Foundation Services, to provide the governance for our entire implementation team and its overall workload. This way you are assured that we are constantly reviewing our customer commitments according to the planned priorities. We also can generate custom reports and dashboards as part of implementation process for you.
As a customer, you will be invited to our head office in Lichfield to see your system in operation. This replica system will be specifically configured with your static data, including customers, product codes, suppliers, and bill of materials. Once UAT (user acceptance testing) has been successfully signed off, SI will prepare a gold build version of the system, together with all the required hardware, and despatch for implementation at your premises.
On site with you, every step of the way
SI understands how upgrading to a new production system is not just about changing your processes, but your working practices too. Managing change is a very important part of what we do.
Our implementation experts will provide you with a templated training plan, according to the chosen modules and the required leadtime for training on each, designed to guide you and your team through all the processes. SI prides itself in having a flexible approach to training; we understand that your business never stops and that training needs to be scheduled to fit around your other priorities and operational imperatives. Our customers, not us, determine the diary slots to suit and book them in with their teams. Our training packages range from a full systems overview (end to end) through to specifics by function, i.e. despatch operations or goods in.
Once training has been completed, we work closely with our customers to find the best way to take their system live. We know that a formulaic approach doesn’t work – every business is different and so are the challenges – whether we’re upgrading a legacy system, providing a complete system at a new site with specific timescale scenario, or implementing by functional areas. And when we’re not on site you still have the benefit of weekly project calls to keep your stakeholders informed of progress and next steps.
SI knows the perishable food business inside out. This is why we’re happy to spend as much time on factory floor as required to make sure that every area and every operator is comfortable with how to use the system. Our experts have worked both sides of the food production fence and understand the issues that businesses like yours are typically faced with on a daily basis.
And so is our support team
We engage our support team at the implementation stage to ensure our engineers can familiarise themselves with your site’s particular working practices and can visualise the systems operation. Our implementation team will also produce comprehensive handover documents, as a reference base, for the support team. Our implementations team comprises many members of staff who have previously been part of the support group; they’ve brought with a wealth of expertise and know how to get into the crux of the system.
We invest in our people and have a training programme in place to ensure our implementation team members are always up to date with software and SIs new builds. Our training programme also keeps them up to speed with industry specifics, from process flows through to regulatory changes. We believe in continuous learning and are always ambitious to further improve in everything we do.