Infographic: 4 Ways HeadSTART Saves Manufacturers & Distributors Time and Money Implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP and CRM

When you make the decision to implement a modern, cloud ERP or CRM solution like Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365), you want to see the benefits as soon as possible. Of course, you also want the D365 implementation to avoid 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 Microsoft D365 Finance and Supply Chain, as well as D365 CRM deployments, Sikich has developed the HEADSTART SM approach. It has proven practices for distributors like you, already preconfigured.

Read this infographic to see how HEADSTART gives you a major advantage with your D365 implementation.

Save time and money with D365 HeadSTART


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HEADSTART for Equipment Manufacturers

To streamline Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Supply Chain and Dynamics 365 CRM deployments, Sikich has developed the HEADSTART approach. Our HEADSTART methodology has proven practices for equipment manufacturers, already preconfigured right out of the box.

HEADSTART for Distributors

To streamline Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Supply Chain and Dynamics 365 CRM deployments, Sikich has developed the HEADSTART approach. Our HEADSTART methodology has proven practices for distribution organizations, already preconfigured right out of the box.



1. 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.”

2. 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 is 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

3. 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.

4. 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, 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 a D365 implementation 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.

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This publication contains general information only and Sikich is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should you use it as a basis for any decision, action or omission that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision, taking any action or omitting an action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. In addition, this publication may contain certain content generated by an artificial intelligence (AI) language model. You acknowledge that Sikich shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by you or any person who relies on this publication.

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