This Digital Pioneer Combined 5 ERPs From 7 Offices. Here’s What He Learned

This Digital Pioneer Combined 5 ERPs From 7 Offices. Here’s What He Learned

If you’re consolidating, combining or migrating platforms, you’ll want to listen to this guy.

He consolidated a digital landscape from 7 offices and 5 different ERPs. That can be quite a challenge: You have to create a system that satisfies all stakeholders, achieves all objectives, and launches on schedule. It’s a daunting task, but it’s one this Digital Transformation Pioneer didn’t simply accomplish, but conquered.

His name is Scott Bendle, and he’s the CIO at Rigaku Americas Corp. He came on board in 2002 as the Director of Operations and oversaw a massive IT transformation across the entire organization.

Scott joined us to share 3 life-saving tips on consolidation and combining systems.

Don’t miss this pioneer:

Life-Saver # 1: Limit the Customization

When Scott arrived at Rigaku, work was waiting for him. Previous experience in platform integration had prepared him for this  intense system unification. (At Magnequench, he had successfully integrated a LIMS or Laboratory Information Management System with their ERP).

He knew from the outset that he needed to limit customizations only to those most necessary for the operation.

With various stakeholders, everyone has unique needs and wants for the final product. Opinions abound, with each stakeholder hoping the final product will bend to their individual needs. You have to navigate each temptation to add one more unique function. Small pieces quickly compound issues across the system and create massive headaches when it’s time to upgrade.

“The more customizations you pile on when you’re interfacing between platforms, the harder that task becomes.”
— Scott Bendle

Life-Saver # 2: Remember, Consolidating System Is a Journey

Combining and consolidating ERPs (or any systems or platforms) is a journey. Frustrations and setbacks are common. You’ll want to turn back, but stay the course. Remind yourself and others why you set out on the journey.  Don’t be dismayed by what Scott called the “valley of despair” when you start questioning whether you made the right decision and if you are ever going to come out on the other side.

“If you just keep stalling by adding additional bells and whistles, you’ll never launch.”
— Scott Bendle

This can be especially difficult with a variety of stakeholders. As the PM or leader of implementation, you must be clear about the outcome. Keep everyone moving along the journey towards the horizon.

Life-Saver # 3: Be Clear About Common Goals

Everyone has to be clear about common objectives. As the project evolves, distractions easily occur as possibilities emerge. Instead of thinking maximum functionality, think minimally viable product. What are the absolute musts? What items are essential to all parties?

Once these pieces are unified, launch.

Don’t hover too long with a product that can be continually improved.

Every stakeholder will express their opinion about the system, and continual improvements will stall your deployment day.

Go for launch.

Taken from an interview with Scott Bendle from Rigaku. Hear more from other Digital Transformation Pioneers.

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