This is a key concern I hear daily from prospective customers on a daily basis.
This is often down to memories of previous installations and the pain that these caused as staff struggled to get to grips with new systems and processes whilst still trying to do their job.
We make our Implementations as easy and painless as possible - as testified by our customers eg Paul Jordin of Broach Hill Garage who said "We migrated our dealer management system to Navigator in October 2020 and it was the smoothest systems migration we have ever had."
The key to a smooth installation is planning. Plan, plan and hen plan some more. At Navigator, we have a complete phase of the implementation dedicated to this.
The key to a plan is to have some goals. These mean that later on the implementation we can use these as beacons to drive us forward and know when we've succeeded
Apart from the obvious goal of a smooth implementation, there are normally goals to aim for which are generally the reason you chose to install a new system.
These maybe items such as linking all online leads from the web site straight to the CRM, or improve the percentage of online Service bookings by linking emails to the integrated online booking system. It may be as simple as moving sales order creation away from admin to the sales team.
The next key item is to then build a plan. At Navigator we use a project management framework which leads both our team and the dealer through the phases of discovery, system setup, training, live and ongoing follow up.
The key at each stage is not to be doing too much at once, by laying a plan down in advance with key markers, objectives and tasks at each stage means that it's relatively easy at any one time to focus on the few key tasks that are important at that time.
Project management systems are great at helping people keep on top of items and get them done. Because there are always only a few things that bed doing at any one time, they don't interfere with normal day to day business.
The next key item is training. The development of online training programmes means that training can be easily integrated into the working day. No need now to empty a department for a day so people can be trained. Individuals can be trained at their own pace and in short sections.
It's still key to schedule training and ensure that everybody does the training they need.
Before live, at Navigator we reduce training to the bare minimum. If you aren't going to use a function in the first few days of using the system, you won't be trained on it!
Live day is centred around the start of our guru programme. Once people have started training, our implementation experts will dedicate regular time in half hour or hour sessions to help staff with understanding the system, and deal with absorbing it into the system.
At this stage, we reinforce our philosophy - going live on Navigator is not a point in time but simply the start of a process that will go on for several weeks.
Our aim is simple. To feed in knowledge and processes in sequence over a period of time. This means that in the early days, people are focused solely on the day to day - how to raise invoices, add vehicles to stock and basic day to day accounting processes.
Once you are fully up to speed with these, we all move onto other processes - management reporting, processing other accounting and admin functions as well as adding on more complex parts of the system.
Post Live, there are some more online training to do, plus a whole host of video and documentary process guides so that everyone can remind themselves of a process before they carry it out for the first time...
This is supported continuously by our guru sessions. Our team are in daily contact throughout the business to ensure that the implementation carries on smoothly.
All the time, we have regular weekly catch ups, using the project plan as a guide and ticking off jobs done, objectives reached and adding new issues and items that need addressing.
In this way we continue, in a smooth and efficient manner to project completion when all the original goals are complete and the initial project is complete.
But, that's not the end. Generally, the initial project is exactly that - to get you up and running with your initial goals. Once this is complete, new goals are developed and plans to meet them are built. In this way, you continue to develop and advance over the long term and it is here that the true benefits of a new system are found.
Installing a new DMS system is hassle ? Right? is it ?