Why Remote ERP Implementation is Essential
Remote ERP consulting in Epicor has become a necessary service for manufacturing and distribution industries during the COVID-19 pandemic. Coronavirus quarantines and stay-at-home decrees have disbanded ERP project teams. Separated from traditional onsite ERP consulting paradigms, office culture has shifted into remote consulting platforms in order to support the manufacturers and distributors critical to our nation. With travel advisories in place, remote consulting has quickly become the new normal, and ERP consultants are empowering teams to meet the challenges of implementing ERP using remote technology and methodology. Fortunately, remote ERP consulting strategies can be quickly and securely deployed to keep your Epicor ERP implementation projects successful throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
How to Effectively Enable Remote Work
Working with our customers over the past few weeks, we’ve used our team’s experience to come up with a few recommendations for remote ERP consulting and ERP project management:
- Leverage Technology: Software providers have spent decades developing products that enable remote activities. Go beyond basic connectivity and familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of your web conferencing tool of choice, such as Zoom, WebEx, or GoToMeeting. Record sessions and look for ways to make file sharing and communication easier: SharePoint, Teams, OneNote, etc. And if a remote engagement is on the horizon, work with your IT staff ahead of time to make sure everyone has requisite access.
- Bring in remote expertise: As consultants, who by necessity have to connect to one of many types of projectors, screens, and presentation architectures, we naturally become quite adept at this process, bringing with us a toolbox of adaptors to connect to this or that technology. In the remote world, we similarly need to master the skills of remote connectivity: VPN, Citrix, RDP, etc. These communication modes work to bring clients and consultants effectively together, keeping an ERP implementation on schedule.
- Modularize assistance: As COVID-19 disrupts traditional business culture across the manufacturing and distribution industries, moving key workers into home offices, Epicor ERP implementation projects demand adaptable technology and adaptable teamwork. Remote consulting strategies that help to create ultimate flexibility for IT projects can bring success to your ERP implementations, even from your living room, by breaking up consulting into segments specific to particular individual needs. Clients can optimize the increased flexibility of a consultant’s remote work schedule by using technology to enhance communication and productivity.
- Master the help-homework-help cycle: Related to the above steps, look to leverage the modular approach by scheduling incremental sessions. In this more intensive cycle, a consultant can provide instruction on a given topic with a customer, then allow a period of time between sessions for the customer team member to perform independent work before picking up with the next session. The key here is getting to a good point at the end of a session such that homework can be assigned, with the customer not only responsible for the next steps, but also well-equipped with the knowledge necessary to be successful.
- Keep your team connected: Communication becomes paramount during times of remote activity. In these circumstances, consultants need to increasingly serve as the glue between team members. Questions that don’t get asked are rarely answered, so this is a good time to get people asking questions. In the absence of traditional project structures, individual team members might need more direction from their Epicor ERP consultants. Customers working remotely are not only in need of consulting assistance but are also in need of increased project management.
When the Home Office Becomes Your Conference Room
Epicor ERP consultants are remotely managing teams to keep manufacturing and distribution projects successful throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. With travel down and customers closing their doors to consultants who have been implementing ERP onsite, project teams might find themselves in an unfamiliar work architecture. The shift to remote work environments brings challenges to ERP implementation teams and their consultants. The coronavirus outlook for the upcoming weeks and months means the dependency on remote communication is only set to increase, making remote ERP consulting a necessity. This will change the way that Epicor ERP consultants ply their trade for a while, but it won’t limit the success of ERP implementations.
Remote consulting strategies abound to assist customers in their remote business environments, and consultants more than ever need to be facilitators first and consultants second as we help manufacturing and distribution companies through the coronavirus disruption. It’s a time for Epicor ERP project teams to be assertive, with consultants and team leaders providing direction, organization, communication and encouragement, not only though our application expertise, but also through the soft skills that we bring as part of our value proposition, keeping to our mission of Epicor ERP implementation success.
Looking for ways to enable remote work for your team? Contact EstesGroup to learn more about our Managed IT, Epicor ERP, Prophet 21 and CyberSecurity services. Stay well, be safe, and talk to us about the future of your business.