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COMPASS Methodology for ERP Implementation Success

Implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is a significant endeavor for any manufacturer. Our proven COMPASS methodology ensures successful and effective ERP implementation and support for discrete manufacturing companies during rollout and beyond.

Successful ERP implementation hinges significantly on the presence of a well-crafted project management plan. A detailed ERP implementation blueprint serves as a roadmap for seamless project plan execution. It also acts as a safeguard against potential pitfalls that may arise in the absence of a structured approach. Our expert team members employ the COMPASS methodology in developing successful ERP implementation plans across many industries, including:

Proven COMPASS Methodology ERP Implementation Plan

The Frontier ERP COMPASS methodology implementation process encompasses the following key areas:

  • Manage the desired and intended changes expected from implementing an ERP. This will maximize your implementation benefits without a negative, short-term impact on company performance.
  • Ensure management’s vision of the ERP implementation plan is properly communicated to the Project Team.
  • Communication of the vision will help prevent scope creep, as well as unintended backsliding into the old system functions. The latter can result in the heavy revision of the Frontier system to look like the old system.
  • Ensure that all issues and concerns are identified, documented, and prioritized. Address any issues promptly to prevent small issues from becoming larger problems.
  • Confirm the client establishes a realistic, formal education/simulation program that includes a process to identify additional training needed. It must also ensure the availability of key resources for training purposes. For example, the Project Team requires ample time to practice with the system as part of the Business Simulation.
  • Get the Project Team involved – hands-on – and keep them involved. If the project is viewed solely as the responsibility of the Information Systems Department, it won’t succeed.
  • Keep top management informed on project progress. You can accomplish this by completing 4 to 6 Progress Assessment Documents (PAD) and reviewing ‘Metrics’ and ‘Scorecards’.

10 Steps to Successful Software Implementation

The COMPASS ERP implementation methodology follows this general 10-stage outline:

1. Project Organization & Definition of Objectives

erp software implementation plan on a whiteboard with a person adding information, compass methodology

Friedman’s Compass Methodology is used to help your company develop a detailed plan for your ERP software implementation.

During this phase, we focus on planning and preparing to determine the project’s overall direction and scope. Planning and gathering information usually happen at the beginning of the project’s ‘Kick-Off’ week. It involves meetings with the client management team.

2. Discovery, Data Priming & Prototyping

This stage can take place during the first stage or as separate events when various ERP implementation activities occur. These activities include:

  • Business ‘Whiteboard Session’
  • Product configurator overview session
  • Priming for data migration
  • Prototyping
  • Product Configurator Management (PCM) ‘Whiteboard Session’
  • PCM data gathering and validation
  • Development of the first model for proof of concept
  • PCM Proof of Concept

3. Education & Initial Simulation

Friedman can offer traditional classroom-style ERP software education for clients with larger groups of employees. However, the typical education and training method involves brief employee sessions. Participants then move on to hands-on simulations of key business processes identified in the ‘Business Activity List.’ The education and simulation activities use the master file data loaded during stage 2.

4. Business Simulation

After Stage 3 activities, the ERP Project Team conducts simulations by processing business transactions independently through Frontier. The simulation aims to firm up all relevant business processes using Frontier. During this stage, the Project Team learns how to use Frontier to accomplish necessary business processes.

5. Conversion/Implementation Preparation

Stage 5 of the ERP project plan includes data conversion and implementation. At this time, data files are loaded and converted to ensure accurate system interfaces. At this time, you can also customize program changes to standard Friedman programs and reports.

6. Integrated Business Simulation

At this stage, project team members engage in Integrated Business Simulations. These simulations involve processing various stages from quotes to orders, releasing production schedules, labor and production reporting, shipping, invoicing, and cash application. Work and purchase orders are released and received to check component quantities, routings, costing, and variances. Report generation and month-end processed to review accuracy and completeness.

7. Conference Room Pilot (CRP)

The Conference Room Pilot objective is to simulate the client processes using the Frontier software thoroughly. This will ensure the required procedures, screen reports, interfaces, and modifications are in place and functioning.

The CRP will conclude with a five-day test. During this test, three to four days of transactions will be processed. The purpose of this test is to ensure that the organization and systems integration are functioning correctly.

8. Final Preparation & Go Live

After the CRP is accepted, Frontier will Go Live. The project team will train any end users who have not participated in the simulation activities. Training will provide the expertise needed to process transactions accurately and handle the expected daily transaction volume. System security functions will be in place to eliminate the risk of corrupted data.

9. Post Implementation Support

The Project Team will need to be almost full-time during the initial post-conversion week. During the second week, their involvement will decrease as normal operation and effort gradually resume.

Accounting will regularly do preliminary financial closings before the first monthly closing to find any possible issues. All other non-financial data will be reviewed for accuracy at this time.

10. Post Implementation Audit

Regularly assessing the system for added features that may be required after implementing Frontier is important. This assessment can enhance returns on investment and make Frontier more adaptable to your business requirements.

Friedman Corporation can continue to support your implementation with education, consulting, and technical skills as required. All the services available to the client during the implementation remain available after the implementation. This stage is an optional service offered through our training and professional services department.

Dedication to Excellence

Blue globe with stylized letter F for Friedman CorpFriedman’s team of highly trained experts is here for questions you may have through the implementation process, and beyond. Our dedicated service and support staff is committed to helping you use your Frontier ERP system more efficiently and productively.

Downloadable enhancements and corrections to dial-in access for in-depth problem evaluation are available. Customers also receive 24/7 access to the Frontier Customer Portal.


Extend the Value of Your Software Investment

As a full-service software provider, Friedman Corporation offers services and support that go beyond the initial product purchase. Our goal is to extend the value of your software investment by ensuring you have a staff ready to do just that.

Training Opportunities

Our successful client education program includes a team of application experts. Their goal is to share their knowledge of how our products work and to ensure you fully understand how our software can meet and adapt to your business requirements.

Training can occur at your location(s) or our Chicago-area headquarters. Class sizes are limited so participants can receive the best hands-on training in an open-discussion environment. Education materials are also available to those clients with in-house trainers.

Additional training is offered to all customers through an ongoing series of webinars throughout the year. We also host a biennial user conference where there is ample opportunity for in-person learning, one-on-one conversations, networking, and more. Our next user conference will be held in May 2025.

Our company is dedicated to the successful implementation of your ERP system. For more information about our proven COMPASS Methodology or to set up a demo, contact us today.