D365 Business Central adoption is a modern and the most feasible ERP solution for companies that are expanding and facing hurdles like operational inefficiencies, outdated systems, and increases in cost, resulting in missed customer prospects. While it is an absolute solution to combat challenges in business processes, business owners must learn about the D365 Business Central Implementation process to ensure its success.
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1- Establishing Objective
This step starts with the business owners first. They must define the reasons for the D365 Business Central implementation and the goals they want to achieve after the implementation. It helps in two ways.
Firstly, a D365 Business Central partner/vendor easily understands the expectations of their customers. Secondly, they are able to create a solution accordingly, which eliminates implementation failure.
2- Company Infrastructure Audit
The audit of operations, systems, and processes is crucial to determine the level of changes required in a company. The D365 Business Central partner studies and analyzes each department to identify the bottlenecks, multiple data formats, process variances, third-party solutions in use, redundant processes or systems, and synergies to be achieved.
This is also where the vendor determines the suitable deployment model based on the business requirements and specifications. During the process, they consider compliances, guidelines, and regulatory policies across different locations where the company is located.
3- Final Project Plan
The D365 Business Central implementation project plan comprises of the following:
- Deployment Model
- Business Requirements
- Stipulated time
- Critical milestones
- Other resource requirements
- A contingency plan
The change management plan includes a communication strategy to manage and handle employee interactions and queries about upcoming changes.
A vendor also develops a data migration plan to prevent data loss or data corruption, reduce data redundancy and improve data access across the company.
4- Resource Allocation
A D365 Business Central partner identifies and appoints a team of the right experts to drive the project. The team coordinates with the company’s cross-functional team comprising members from different departments since the D365 Business Central implementation will impact all departments. It enables quick decision-making and conveys to everyone about the project’s importance.
5- Set-Up & Installation
During this phase, the deployment and development of Business Central take place. The vendor's team performs several crucial tasks, including:
- Integrations: They integrate with third-party applications, legacy systems, or other native Microsoft products.
- Customizations: They also handle customizations related to workflows, systems, processes, and reporting based on the organization’s requirements.
- Data Migration: Data migration becomes a crucial and intricate process as each department within the organization may have distinct data processing methods, different data formats, or even separate systems for managing data. The team is also responsible for effectively addressing data duplication issues, tackling data redundancy, and ensuring the accuracy of data in the desired formats. Furthermore, they ensure consistent data across the entire business by carefully cleaning up data without compromising its accuracy.
Given the variations in data management practices across different departments, this phase can be complex and time-consuming. It is of utmost importance to avoid any data loss or corruption, as the recovery process could potentially derail the entire project and have a severe impact on the project's timeline and cost.
The team conducts comprehensive testing of new features, customizations, integrations, and implementations. A cross-functional team is responsible for this testing phase to ensure that all processes and systems operate as intended.
In the event of any discrepancies, there is a well-defined process in place to communicate them to the relevant team. After making the necessary changes, a cross-functional team retests the system to ensure that everything is functioning correctly.
To ensure effective and efficient usage of Business Central, the vendor company provides training to the employees (the end users). If necessary, the employees are provided with separate training modules and documents to meet the specific needs of different departments. During the training, employees are educated about the process for reporting any issues or complaints. Typically, a first-level point of contact from the cross-functional project team, responsible for managing the project since its initiation, is appointed within each department.
Additionally, new employee training programs are designed to facilitate quick familiarization with the system. This training phase is crucial as the success of the project heavily relies on employees' ability to utilize the system effectively. If employees lack proper knowledge or constantly face difficulties, they may not adopt the system, rendering the entire endeavor futile.
A D365 Business Central service provider ensures that thorough testing and appropriate training are completed before going live. Failing to do so poses significant risks of encountering issues and disruptions, potentially resulting in substantial losses. Therefore, the company prioritizes comprehensive testing and training to mitigate these risks before initiating the system's live operation.
9- Monitoring, Maintenance, and Support
The vendor's technical team constantly monitors and tests the system to ensure its smooth operation. To address any unexpected situations, including potential issues, a well-defined contingency plan is established. This plan includes a clear chain of command and a predefined process to effectively manage and resolve any issues that may arise. By having these measures in place, the company is prepared to handle unforeseen circumstances and maintain the system's stability.
D365 Business Central implementation demands a combination of technical expertise, business acumen, and experience. It is crucial to select a D365 Business Central partner with a proven track record, abundant resources, and superior skill sets. This strategic choice will facilitate the achievement of desired outcomes in a timely manner while minimizing the occurrence of errors.