When you make the decision to implement a modern, cloud ERP or CRM solution like Microsoft Dynamics 365, you want to see the benefits as soon as possible. All while avoiding common pitfalls like disruption, budget and schedule overruns, as well as the risk that comes with a technology initiative that was poorly planned. To streamline D365 Finance and Operations (now called F&SCM) and CRM deployments, Sikich has developed the HEADSTART approach with proven practices for equipment manufacturers and distributors preconfigured.
There are 4 key ways HEADSTART will positively impact your D365 project budget and timeline
- Dramatically reduce time to go-live
In a traditional ERP deployment that would take 12 months, HEADSTART can save roughly 3 months off a typical Dynamics 365 F&SCM implementation, so you can complete it in 9 months instead. That is a time savings of 25%. For a D365 CRM project that would take 6 months to go-live, HEADSTART can save about 2 months, offering a time savings of 33%. Michael Bell, Sikich’s D365 Engagement Director, explains that “If you had to set up an ERP system from a blank canvas, a six-week timeframe would be nearly impossible. With HEADSTART, we can tune configurations to get to a prototype in six weeks.”
- Check all the right boxes
The Sikich HEADSTART methodology assumes a standard system configuration and outlines a process for justifying changes to it. Our consultants are rigorous about making a business case for any system changes, which could be implemented through extensions that modify the software or through enhancements by means of Microsoft Power Apps or independent software vendor (ISV) innovations. The team at Sikich are trained to ask clients, “Why does the standard configuration not work for you?” This approach helps project stakeholders maintain control of project scope, schedule, and budgets. HEADSTART is designed to address 6 must-have technology-driven outcomes including:
- Deliver better customer experiences
- Help workers be more productive, achieving more with less effort
- Contribute to reducing costs, errors, and risks
- Offer opportunities for increasing revenue by enabling new business models or making it possible to access new markets and grow market share
- Help companies adapt faster to marketplace changes and competitive pressures
- Allow executives and other roles to make better decisions, faster
- Drive for the outcomes that will have the biggest impact on your business
Sikich focuses client discovery on understanding the high-level impacts of a project and its desired outcomes, not the processes themselves. By delivering an industry-specific, preconfigured system as a technology foundation, we avoid the effort and change management issues that are typically associated with traditional, all-in-one approaches. We help client stakeholders understand that the working system they see early on is just a starting point. They learn how we advance from “generic” to “good enough” functionality and on to “works for me.” This process of refinement occurs as they evolve the preconfigured system through collaborative pilot workshops to land on a solution that is the right amount of fit for them. Often, people are more ready to embrace change when they play an active role in driving it. When client stakeholders participate in system configurations, they deeply care about the reasons why these should happen in addition to how to adjust them.
- Built-in proven practices for manufacturers and distributors
HEADSTART comes with 1,000s of pre-set parameters for each of Sikich’s industry verticals – engineer to order, make to order, and discrete manufacturing, and wholesale distribution. A preconfigured system is unlikely to support everything our clients need without any configuration adjustments—not modifications—and we don’t claim that it will fit every process. However, our clients’ experience demonstrates that HEADSTART is an effective way to accelerate implementations while reducing risk. Seeing your new system in action allows you to make educated decisions about configuration adjustments. It’s the 80/20 rule – we spend 80 percent of our effort on the 20 percent of the system that reflects what makes your business unique.
Read this infographic to see how HEADSTART gives you a major advantage.