Going through the process of setting up a new ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution is never an easy task, whether converting from a home-grown system or an entirely different ERP solution. There are many different layers and complexities involved, and there are countless hours spent to make it a successful implementation. Perhaps of all the different tasks, one of the most important and most overlooked is data migration.
Simply put, ERP data migration refers to process of cleansing, reformatting, restructuring, copying, and moving data from the previous systems to the new ERP solution. These previous systems can include Microsoft products (Word, Excel, etc), company standalone databases, a company’s custom-built IT infrastructure, and the previous ERP solution.
Let’s take a look at four tips to help ensure a smooth migration.
- Make a detailed plan for the process. This includes any testing, mapping, conversion processes, understanding the limits of the migration, and creating a timeline. Be sure to involve the company owners, IT department, and the ERP vendor.
- Know your data and security. Only migrate data that you need and do not let duplicate data into the system. The unneeded data can be trashed, saving migration time and further work once it is in the ERP. It will also be important to know who can access the data and when, from both companies and in both software systems.
- Start the data migration soon after the business processes are mapped in the new ERP solution. One of the biggest issues is time. With an expansive amount of data to cleanse, reformat, restructure, copy, and move, the more time allotted for the process, the better. Any unforeseen issues or challenges could delay the ERP go-live date.
- Have a dedicated team, person, or time set aside to work strictly on data migration. Since data migration can make or break an ERP implementation, it only makes sense to make sure there are no holes or hiccups due to lack of planning or attention. Being accountable to a previously agreed upon timeline and being thorough with the process will also be a key in making sure the migration runs smoothly.