Using an implementation approach modeled on Rapid Implementation (RI) methodology the Zequent Order Management implementation consists of 4 phases – Assess, Collaborate, Implement, Tune – and requires about 4 weeks. Zequent has utilized this methodology to implement Order Management since 2002 with a 100% success rate.
Utilizing senior consultants and centered on Value Stream Mapping, the RI methodology significantly reduces the time to implement Order Management. In addition, users who participate in this process gain significant knowledge on how to operate Order Management because our methodology calls for more active user involvement.
A project team is not required for the implementation, there is no business disruption and the ROI begins during the second week. Risk is very low because the Order Management software makes no modifications to existing data.
More about the process as it might apply to your plant can be found below. Insight into how our users feel about our implementation approach can be found in the Reviews page.
Conducted by former ERP project managers with an operations management background typically covering 10 or more years, the assessment phase addresses the “As Is” state of the business system using value stream mapping (VSM). This phase is especially strong at ferreting out unique business processes which provide the client a competitive advantage or create serious implementation challenges.
2 unique business process examples:
- one client provides a remanufacturing service for industry standard components so they have “convenience“ manufacturing orders open at all times. This approach provides them the ability to receive, remanufacture and ship an item in 24 hours: a distinct competitive advantage. Tricky part is tracking the current customer demand against the manufacturing order as well as accounting for the open portion of that order. Tracking both the customer demand as well as the open portion is key to maintaining this competitive practice in spite of the fact MRP logic would indicate no requirements existed for that open portion and ignored it.
- Another client manufactured 2 different configurations of an end item under the same part number creating an implementation nightmare. This approach was used by the client because the end item was manufactured for 2 OEM customers and the end item's configuration differed by OEM customer.
The Assessment phase generally takes 2 to 3 days. The deliverable is the business system’s initial proposed “To Be” state.
With a clear vision of a possible “To Be” business system state, Zequent personnel collaborate with the users to determine where that vision needs to change and to “sell” point solutions for specific issues encountered during the Assessment phase. For example, convincing personnel unique part numbers are required whenever a part changes form, fit or function requires a skill not all possess.
In this phase our order fulfillment management software is installed. We’ve learned it is far easier to show how specific functions work than it is to talk the issue into submission.
The collaboration effort generally requires 2 to 4 days. The exact timing is dependent on client personnel availability.
The requirements have been determined and a collaborate solution defined. Now it’s time to implement.
In relatively brief hands-on workshops the users walk through the solution with the Zequent personnel responsible for the assessment and the collaborated solution.
Custom user instructions are provided, templates for re-constituted production meetings are explained and the meeting preparation detailed.
As each users’ session concludes the attendees are prepare to convert to the new process – and aspects of the order management solution required by those users is already activated.
The implementation workshops never require more than 1 ½ hours each and generally are completed with 3 days.
Experience has taught us 1 overriding truism: in the development of the “To Be” state subtle business requirements are inevitably missed:
- aspects of a process were overlooked,
- a business nuance did not translate well,
- a well-hidden business requirement finally percolates to full visibility.
Fortunately the missed business requirements nearly always show up in the first few days of the implementation. Typically these issues are addressed within hours by either:
- Fine tuning the software
- changing event timing
- modifying user instruction
To date tuning has never extended beyond 10 business days.