ERP for Printing Industry: Navigating Potential Pitfalls (6 Tips)

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As print businesses embrace modernization and efficiency, the integration of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems has become a cornerstone of transformation.

Now, you might be wondering, “why do I keep hearing both MIS and ERP for printing industry?”

Well, to be quite honest, they’re very similar and they’re both a solution to organizing and managing the information within your organization. Many Print MIS are missing the accounting element of an ERP, which is why at Sabre, we like using Microsoft’s Business Central and the add-on known as PrintVis. This integrates the PrintVis MIS directly into your current Business Central experience.

We’ll explore the concept of embracing progress over perfection, highlighting the crucial notion that any step towards automation and optimization is a leap from manual inefficiencies. With the guidance provided, you’ll be empowered to set achievable milestones that foster growth and constant improvement, driving your print business to new heights.

ERP for Printing Industry Pitfalls
ERP for Printing Industry: Navigating Potential Pitfalls (6 Tips) 1

1. Don’t Let “Perfect” Be The Enemy Of Good

REMEMBER: You probably have a bad system that’s manual and has many problems. Anything is better than what you currently have.

As the business owner, you know that your team shouldn’t bite off more than they can chew. You want to have a perfect system with everything automated, but the reality is, if your staff could do that – it would have already happened.

Set your sights at something achievable that is better than what you started with and that you can grow with and keep improving.

Accept that you won’t ever have a system that is perfect. You should have a continuous process improvement mindset, always making small but meaningful improvements. Pick an easily achievable starting point so the team can see a win and is encouraged to keep going!

2. There Will Be Winners And Losers In The New System. Be OK With That.

By this I mean, there are people who have it easy today. They don’t really use their computers for anything that affects other users. In fact, that is a big part of the problem. Someone else “downstream” from them must double check their work and re-enter data.

Those people will now have to use their computer a lot more. They do this because it’s for the common good. They have been letting other staff suffer so they have less work. Often, they’ll argue that the new system is “a lot harder to use” and want to “automate” the new system so they have less to do. They will complain – a lot.

3. Watch Out For The Squeaky Wheel

Back to the last pitfall – watch out for staff who are very loud and aggressive. They will almost always smother out the rest of the people.

The silent majority is probably fine with what’s happening. The squeaky wheel can drown them out. Don’t let these people be part of the project if you can avoid it at all.

4. Don’t Take Your Foot Off The Gas

During the first half of the project, we are leading you and helping set up the test system. That is on the MIS vendor more than it is on you.

At some point we start to take the training wheels off and you need to start learning the new system by getting your hands into it on your own. Once we are no longer pushing, we see a lot of customers who don’t know what to do next.

I call this the “blank page” syndrome. If you’ve ever seen a teenager with an essay to write who just stares at the blank page not knowing what to do, you have seen this syndrome. A lot of your staff may feel this.

This is where the Business Analyst or the Project coordinator comes in. They need to motivate these people and get them working on things.

5. Weak Project Coordinator or Business Analyst

This is hard to help with and is the one time an MIS vendor might tell you to bring someone in from the outside.

If your project coordinator AND business analyst are both below average, you will have a lot of trouble during the second half of the project. The foot may come all the way off the gas.

This also happens if the team is weak. Even if the one business analyst is strong, it is a LOT of work to do the entire project on your own.

Finding someone who can push the team to do the testing and run the scenarios can be good at this point. An outsider who can work with the MIS vendor can help. Just avoid the person who will want to start over from scratch.

6. If Your Team Is Checked Out, Watch Out

Customers who leave the project to one or two people because the rest of their team is checked out will really struggle after they go live.

First, don’t let this happen. Force the team to get involved and do not take “No” for an answer.

If you can’t get them to buy in (for whatever reason) then there are a few things to keep in mind to mitigate things.

  • Do everything you can to keep things simple. Anything that complicates the MIS system is just going to make it more difficult.
  • Be prepared for things that were missed and processes that don’t work. People will disagree with their choices, which people will then throw blame at the partner.
  • Force the team to try the new system before you go live. Watch them. Once they realize it doesn’t quite work, hopefully they’ll be more interested.
MIS ERP for Printing Industry
ERP for Printing Industry: Navigating Potential Pitfalls (6 Tips) 2

Navigating Resistance to Change

Embracing innovation in your print business often means ushering in a significant transformation, and resistance to change is natural. Employees may express reluctance or pushback when faced with adopting new systems and procedures. It’s crucial to address this resistance proactively.

  1. Communication is Key: Keep the lines of communication open. Regularly share the benefits of the new system and how it will improve their work and the organization as a whole. Address their concerns and provide a platform for them to voice their worries and suggestions.
  2. Training and Support: Invest in comprehensive training and ongoing support for your team. The more confident and competent they feel with the new system, the less apprehensive they’ll be. Encourage them to explore the system and become familiar with it.
  3. Champion the Change: Identify employees who are enthusiastic about the new system and can act as champions for the change. These individuals can serve as mentors to their peers and help create a positive atmosphere around the transition.
  4. Celebrate Small Wins: Acknowledge and celebrate small victories and milestones achieved during the implementation process. This can boost morale and motivation among the team.
  5. Provide Ownership: Encourage team members to take ownership of the system and involve them in decision-making processes related to its use. When employees feel they have a say in how things are done, they are more likely to embrace the change.
  6. Continual Improvement: Emphasize that the implementation is not the end but the beginning of a continuous improvement journey. Changes can be made based on feedback and evolving needs, making the system more aligned with the team’s preferences over time.

By addressing resistance to change in a proactive and supportive manner, you can facilitate a smoother transition to the new system and help your team adapt to the evolving work environment. Remember, a successful transformation often hinges on the buy-in and cooperation of your employees.

Conclusion (ERP for Printing Industry)

The path to embracing progress over perfection is a journey fraught with challenges, but one that offers immense rewards. Remember that perfection may be an elusive goal, and instead, focus on achievable milestones that lead to continuous improvement. Small steps can pave the way for significant advancements, transforming your print business into a well-oiled machine.

It’s important to recognize that change can be a mixed bag, with winners and losers. Some employees may find the transition more challenging, and it’s essential to anticipate resistance and address it with empathy and effective communication. Empower your team to take ownership of the new system and support them through the process.

Seeking assistance or more information?

If you’re in search of details about PrintVis or Business Central, you’ll find a wealth of resources on our dedicated PrintVis and Business Central information page. Whether you’re already a user of Business Central or Dynamics NAV, or considering it for your organization, we can provide expert guidance on seamlessly integrating PrintVis into your system.

Should you have any inquiries or require further assistance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. You can reach us at (519) 585-7524 ext. 45, or simply contact our team. We’re enthusiastic about the opportunity to engage in a conversation with you and address your specific needs and questions. Looking forward to connecting with you soon!

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