Utilizing change management and training to ensure a successful ERP system implementation.

Background
The main plant of a well-established US Midwest-based power company had been operating on the same computer system for 25 years and it no longer met requirements. Switching to a new ERP system brought many challenges as the old system had been so heavily customized that many key functions in the company were not able to transfer accurate data and relied on redundant paper-based transfer.

Our Approach
St. Charles Consulting Group was brought in only ten weeks before conversion. We quickly analyzed the environment, mapping the processes being converted to the user groups including the cross functional relationships and shared processes. Prior to conversion, we orchestrated ERP system navigation training for the entire plant. We also created a comprehensive training curriculum and over a four-week period ran 3000 man-hours of hands-on ERP training by functional area. We also tackled a further challenge – the cultural aspect of changing systems. We developed a communication strategy that included a series of communication meetings, workshops, written communications, contests and troubleshooting.

Impact
The firm successfully converted to the new ERP system on time. The training we deployed was considered critical to the conversion. The executive team recognized the change management program as a key factor in the successful conversion and post-conversion activities. Based on the success of our work with the implementation, we were asked to drive several additional initiatives around competency development, hiring, building training and new hire orientation.