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How to tackle digital transformation? A roadmap for change and optimisation of business systems


Door: Angelique Toorians en Jeroen Minnee, 2 February 2024

Introduction

Managing business systems is no longer just an operational necessity, it is the core of a successful business. Without a clear picture and understanding of business processes, sustainable operations become very difficult. If your systems are outdated, digital transformation may be necessary. This not only requires advanced technologies, but the mindset of everyone in the company will have to be focused on continuous improvements, and a high level of adaptability is essential. As an organisation, how can you effectively manage your business systems while maximising the transformative power of the digital opportunities?

This introductory exploration offers an in-depth analysis of the key principles and tools needed to not only manage but also optimise your systems for faster, more effective change. But most importantly, how you can engage and bring your employees along on your path of digital transformation.

Switching to a new software system is a complex process. Not only are you shifting to a new integrated system, but also the way of thinking within the company will have to change step by step. In this article, we will not only go into how you can pick up and tackle digital transformation in a structured way, but we want to offer you guidance on how to find out whether digital transformation is necessary for your company at all and how to involve the employees in the digital transformation process from the very first moment.


Three questions that matter in the digital transformation process

Before you decide that you will pick up digital transformation, you will want to know whether it is actually necessary. After all, why start with a complex process like digital transformation? And we’re not just thinking about the costs, but also about the uncertainty and resistance it might cause in the company. Therefore, we would like to give more insight into the questions that typically arise when it comes to digital transformation.


Question 1 – Do we need digital transformation?
Not only is this a logical question, it is also the most important question. It is the starting point of digital transformation: do we really need to digitally transform our business?


Based on 4 common ‘pain points’ that occur in many project-based businesses, we want to offer more insight into possible problems and issues that may not be quite up to scratch.

Question 2 – How to engage employees in digital transformation?

Another essential aspect in digital transformation (but which you really should pay attention to every working day) is: how do we stay in touch with our employees and engage them in the digital transformation?

Employees know exactly where things get stuck. Are sales falling behind? Or are things getting stuck in the production process? It is essential that employees are included in the digital transformation process from the very first moment. How do you do that? How do you change the mindset of your employees?


Question 3 – How do we approach the practical digital transformation process?
Finally, there is this practical question: how do you tackle digital transformation? Once it has been decided that a new software system is needed, it is important to approach the process in a structured way. So, what is on the market? How do you find the right system and a reliable provider?


Question 1 – Does your company require digital transformation?

You probably recognise it, you discover that something or several things are no longer running quite smoothly. Often we prefer not to take it too seriously, and maybe even look away altogether? But what do you do when your employees are complaining about jammed systems, when sales are falling behind, or when there is an increasing number of customer complaints? When is the time to take these signals seriously? The common reaction is: ‘we’ve been doing things this way for so long, why should we change anything’! But is that really the case? Be honest! Isn’t it a recurring pattern and in fact a self-created trap that quite a few companies fall into? What are you afraid of? If everything is running smoothly then there would be no problems? Right?

The starting point of any transformation is the recognition that things are not quite working properly. Burying your head in the sand and continuing as before is not the smartest attitude in such cases. Take the signs seriously and start investigating. Check where things are going wrong or not running smoothly. Exploring is the least you can do and you don’t have to change anything if you don’t want to or indeed need to.

Explore. Where are things getting stuck? Talk to employees at every level and across all departments. Take customer complaints seriously. Ask more questions. You will be amazed at what they have to tell you. From this enquiry, so-called pain points will emerge with which you can work. Identify and analyse the pain points together with your employees. It provides insight into possible problems and at the same time it answers the question of whether you should move to a digital transformation of your company.

Identifying and analysing your pain points

Every production and project-based company is unique and often has complex business processes from which somewhat identical pain points may arise. From experience, we know that there are 4 main pain points that almost every production and/or project-based company encounters and which we would like to briefly address:

  1. Losing overview;

  2. Unhappy customers;

  3. Sales stagnation;

  4. Failing systems.


Do you recognise 1 or 2 of these pain points?

Then the answer to the question “Does our business need digital transformation?” is: Yes, digital transformation is most likely necessary to continue doing business efficiently, sustainably and profitably.

Pain point 1 – Losing overview

Losing overview in production and project-based businesses is nothing out of the ordinary and it presents several challenges. The cause of losing overview can have different causes. Therefore, it is very important to understand where things go wrong. After all, when you lose overview, you lose control.


The loss of control within a company can have serious consequences on various aspects of the organisation. First of all, it can lead to a lack of direction and focus, making it difficult to achieve strategic goals. The result is chaotic decision-making processes chaos, adversely affecting the efficiency of operations.


A lack of control can also lead to reduced productivity and employee performance. When there is no clarity (anymore) on who is responsible for what, there is a strong likelihood of confusion about roles and responsibilities, potentially resulting in reduced quality of products or services, which in turn may affect customer satisfaction. But also employees will lose motivation.


Financial risks increase when loss of control occurs. Incorrect budgeting and lack of overview of financial processes can lead to wasted resources and possibly even financial setbacks. External stakeholders, such as investors or creditors, may lose confidence in the company due to inadequate control mechanisms.


Finally, loss of control can damage the company’s reputation. If internal processes are not managed properly, problems such as fraud, ethical violations or irregularities may arise, which can undermine the company’s credibility. Restoring the trust of both internal and external stakeholders can be a time-consuming and costly process.


In short, maintaining control is crucial to ensure the stability, growth and reputation of any company.


Some causes/moments where loss of overview occurs


Complex processes – When production processes are or become more complex and comprise many different phases, steps and involve different parties/teams, planning and overall visibility will be affected. If the overall picture is lacking, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage all variables and coordinate and plan effectively.

Improper data analysis – Advanced data analysis is essential for any business. If real-time data is incorrect, missing or difficult to find, it impacts production efficiency, as well as timely identification of potential bottlenecks, making it difficult to respond quickly and appropriately to essential readjustments. If there is no longer an overview and no one knows where they stand, frustration will increase.

Inadequate communication – Good communication is crucial in any organisation. In complex and multi-phased production processes, the risk of poor cross-communication is high. Communication runs right across the company, between different departments. Production, inventory management and distribution, sales, administration, and so on depend on each other and the flow of information. The likelihood of misunderstandings, delays and errors in the coordination is high if there is inadequate communication, resulting in the risk of loss of overview throughout the entire production process.

Insufficient automation – A lack of automated systems for data entry, reporting and process management will, by definition, lead to manual errors, failures and delays. In complex production and project-based processes, automation is crucial for maintaining overview.

Flawed capacity planning – Failure to effectively plan production capacity based on the demands can lead to over- or underutilisation of resources. Without effective planning, efficiency decreases and overview becomes more difficult.

Addressing these challenges requires an integrated approach with advanced technologies, data analytics and improved communication and work processes.

Pain point 2 – Unhappy customers

Establishing and maintaining solid customer relationships is the founding principle of any successful business. In a world where customer expectations are constantly changing, if you want to retain these important customers it is imperative to remain proactive and adaptive in your approach. Recognising and addressing issues such as dissatisfied customers, slow responses and lost requests is crucial for building lasting customer relationships.

The main consequence of unhappy customers is what the professional world calls churn risk.

Churn Risk

Churn risk is the chance that potential customers decide after a lengthy sales process that they do not want to close a deal with you after all. But customers who (threaten to) drop out are also a churn risk. By analysing your company’s churn, you will be able to identify the pain points within the entire customer journey, from first contact, closing a deal to the after-sales service you provide. By identifying and analysing sales pain points, you can optimise your products, services and communications.


How risky is churn?

You obviously want churn to be as low as possible. But what actually causes churn? If customers don’t feel seen, heard or taken seriously, the likelihood of churn is high. Customers become disgruntled and frustrated if they are not provided with timely or sufficient answers or solutions. Depending on the nature of the requests or queries, customers may become nervous, especially if their concerns need to be resolved quickly or have important implications for their business.  This frustration, dissatisfaction and anxiety has consequences. The two major consequences are:

Diminishing trust and loyalty – The lack of timely responses or solutions erodes trust in the company and its products. Customers may doubt the reliability and professionalism of your company and people. As a result, customer loyalty decreases and they are more likely not to do business with you again or they may even leave.

Reputational damage – Unhappy customers are more likely to share their negative experiences with others, both in person and on social media. This negative word-of-mouth can be damaging to your reputation. It is not only harmful to the customer relationship, but in the long run as well when trying to bring in future customers.


How to prevent churn risk?

The main cause of churn risk is the lack of an integrated system to manage and deliver products or services. When tasks and processes are fragmented across different systems, it will inevitably lead to unhappy customers and employees. As a result, operations become more complex and customers are more likely to decide to leave.


If you want to reduce the risk of churn, it is vital that you invest in solutions that ensure better integration, automation and streamlining of internal and external customer-focused processes. This ensures a consistent and positive experience for customers and potentially leads to higher customer loyalty.


The risk of losing customers is not the only risk that a poor system can cause. Your employees may become frustrated with the system and also ultimately with their jobs, and you as their employer.



Pain point 3 – Sales stagnation


Sales are the foundation of any business and are crucial to the success of a company. The ability to sell products or services effectively has a direct impact on the sales volume and profitability of your business.


Sales are not just an action; it is the link between a company and its customers. Sales are not only important to generate revenue, but also drive the growth of a company and the development of lasting customer relationships.


Sales stagnation can be caused by many factors, such as a lack of innovation, outdated sales strategies or insufficient understanding of customer needs. If, as a company, you constantly strive to improve, innovate and understand the changing needs of customers, the chances of sales stagnation will diminish and, with high sales efficiency, you will start building sustainable success.


Both people and systems are important to grow sustainably as a business. What can you do yourself to ensure that your salespeople are happy and can focus on closing deals and ensure higher sales efficiency. Are your systems supporting your sales people? Or are they causing frustration and irritation?


Causes of Sales Stagnation


There are many different reasons why a sales process is inefficient, slows down, or even comes to a complete halt. Identifying the bottlenecks is the first step in improving the sales process and your sales efficiency. Are there issues like:


  1. Poor lead generation and nurturing – Insufficient leads or poor quality leads slow down the sales process. Generating high-quality leads is essential for the rest of the sales funnel to work effectively. If leads are not followed up adequately or at the right time, there may be missed opportunities. Effective lead nurturing is essential in bringing in prospects.

  2. Lead qualification – Sales teams get bogged down if they have to spend too much time on leads that are not suitable for your product or service. Effective lead qualification is necessary to focus on prospects with real interest.

  3. Post-sale support – Lack of post-sale support can lead to customer dissatisfaction, loss of re-sales and reduced sales efficiency. Make sure post-sale support is readily available.

  4. Poor cooperation – A common cause of sales stagnation is poor communication and cooperation between sales, marketing, production and other teams, for example. If strategies, operations and information are not aligned, it will lead to squandered efforts. Effective coordination between all teams is essential.

  5. Inaccurate or incomplete data – Implementing efficient data management procedures and tools is vital. Inaccurate data causes problems throughout the sales process and reduces sales efficiency.
There are other bottlenecks, such as missed opportunities due to slow communication with leads and customers, complex sales cycles that get bogged down at various stages as multiple approvals or extensive negotiations are required, inadequate training and skills that prevent sales people from effectively engaging with customers and closing deals, and then there are administrative procedures that cause delays in paperwork, contracts and approvals, which in turn tend to slow down the final stage of the sales process.

How to prevent Sales Stagnation?

Outdated systems and missing automations are probably the largest contributor to bottlenecks in sales and order management processes, which in turn lead to delayed follow-ups and incorrect information and updates to your customers.

With digital transformation and the implementation of a modern, innovative, scalable and flexible software system with integrated solutions, where accurate and real-time information is available 24/7, the risk of sales stagnation will be reduced, sales forecasts will increase by 20%, and 80% of bottlenecks in the sales process will be eliminated.

Below this article you will find our previous articles [1] and [12] on preventing sales stagnation and efficiency, and on churn risk.


Pain point 4 – Failing systems

If your systems fail and you cannot implement changes in the market or your products because your systems ‘can’t handle it’, there is a high risk that you will slowly or perhaps even ‘very quickly’ lose your grip, and your business will not survive in the constantly and rapidly changing markets. A robust and flexible software system just needs to be in place.



How to recognise failing systems?


There are many reasons and symptoms that indicate systems not working, not working sufficiently or completely failing. Some common symptoms and consequences of faulty and/or failing systems are:


Production loss – Failing systems regularly lead to unplanned downtime of production lines, with the inevitable result: production loss. This directly affects your output and the ability to meet demand, but it also affects the reliability of your company. Can customers still rely on you?


Quality problems – Systems that do not function properly trigger errors in production processes, which in turn affect the quality of the manufactured goods. This may result in defective products or products that do not meet your customers’ needs and requirements. This will have an impact on customer satisfaction.


Increasing operational costs – Fixing system problems and restoring operations to normal may result in additional operational costs. This includes expenses for possible repairs, downtime losses, IT support, possible penalties due to delays and higher labour costs.


Employee dissatisfaction – Often we do not realise that our employees are suffering from failing systems. Working with different systems and datasets creates ambiguity and confusion, overlapping work and mutual frustration. This is something you really want to avoid.


Reputation damage – The already mentioned topic: reputation damage. If customers lose confidence in your company as a result of delayed deliveries, quality issues, poor communication or other operational shortcomings, among other things, it will inevitably lead to reputation damage. In today’s online world, customer reviews and word of mouth, or social-to-social communication, are more important than ever.


The first step in discovering how your systems function is by talking to and listening to the users: your employees. They are the ones who work with the systems and experience every day whether your systems are doing what they really ought to, or whether there are problems that cause errors, interruptions, unhappy customers or frustrated employees. Well-run and flexible systems are essential, and your employees are a source of information about how well the systems are working.


Tip – If you ‘actually already know’ that digital transformation is inevitable, it might be wise to talk to someone outside the organisation who has knowledge of such systems. This could be a consultant, but peers may also be able to advise and assist you in this regard. Tackling the digital transformation process alone is generally not a good idea.



Question 2 – How to engage employees in digital transformation?


Employees are the backbone of any organisation. They work with the systems every day, and are in direct contact with your customers. They are the most valuable source of experience and insights into what works well and what doesn’t.

By consulting with and listening to your employees, at all levels and across all departments, you will gain a holistic understanding of your business processes. Each team has its own specific procedures and is likely to experience its own unique challenges. Discuss and listen to the real-life experiences of employees. Not only does it foster mutual, cross-team cooperation, but a culture of commitment and shared responsibility will emerge. Joint effort is key to building and maintaining business systems that meet the needs and challenges of your entire company.

Digital transformation is a complex process and it is not unusual to see concerns and even resistance when implementing a new software system. These concerns often stem from a lack of familiarity with the new system, a natural uncertainty associated with change and an understandable resistance to anything unfamiliar.

As mentioned earlier, your employees’ experiences and ideas are a source of information. Another important benefit of consulting with and involving your employees in the digital transformation process is that if your employees are involved from the very first moment in any changes, you no longer have to convince them of the usefulness of digital transformation. They were able to talk, think and decide along with you. They know the ins and outs and feel co-responsible for the success of the transition to a new system. The employees involved can familiarise their colleagues with a new system and digital transformation in a more natural way.

So going through the journey of digital transformation is not just about technological change, but also overcoming psychological hurdles. How to avoid worries and resistance in digital transformation?

How to avoid worries and resistance in digital transformation?

Concerns and resistance are totally natural reactions when announcements are made that you are planning to implement a new software system. You can address much of this worry and resistance by:

Clear communications

Provide transparent and understandable information about the new system, including its benefits and the purpose of the implementation. Communicate regularly and at different levels within the organisation so that everyone is aware of the progress and of any changes.


Involve stakeholders in the process

Involve employees and stakeholders in the decision-making process surrounding the choice and implementation of the new system. It will increase the sense of control and commitment. Identify ‘super users’ within teams who can act as internal experts who can help colleagues. Involve all of them from the very first moment in the digital transformation process. As discussed above.


Provide adequate training and support

Provide extensive training for employees so that they become familiar with the new system. Also offer ongoing support after implementation. The ‘super users’ are involved in the implementation of a new system from the start and can act as queries for colleagues.


Implementation in phases

Implement the new system in phases rather than all at once. This reduces the impact on day-to-day operations and makes adjustments easier. Run small-scale pilots before fully rolling out the system. This allows users to familiarise themselves with the changes in a controlled environment.


Acknowledge the concerns at hand

Take time to address employees’ concerns and resistance seriously. Listen earnestly to your employees. Acknowledging their concerns creates space for open communication and specific problems can be addressed quickly.


Create a positive culture and show leadership

Create a positive culture that encourages change and innovation. Leadership plays a crucial role in this through leading by example, showing a proactive approach to change and listening to employees.


Evaluate and facilitate adjustments

Conduct regular evaluation sessions to gather feedback. Use this feedback to make adjustments to the system or implementation strategy.


It is important to remember that resistance to change is a natural phenomenon, but with the right approach, it can be reduced and turned into positive engagement.

Change of mindset is necessary

Moving to a new software system requires not only technical adjustments, but also a profound change in the way teams think, collaborate and deal with change and uncertainty. Fostering an agile mindset is therefore crucial to the success of digital transformation.


With the implementation of a new and flexible software system, processes will automatically become more efficient and communication between the different teams will be simpler. Employees will have to join in the new way of working. Agile working is now the norm in how modern businesses operate.


Some benefits of Agile working:

Flexibility and adaptability

A new flexible system enables the power to respond quickly to change. The new system provides the opportunity for continuous adaptation and evolution during the development process and calls for a new mindset focused on flexibility and embracing change as a normal part of the development process.


Collaboration and communication

Agile working involves close collaboration between different teams, team members and requires constant communication with stakeholders such as customers and end-users. A shift to a more collaborative and communicative mindset is essential to work effectively.


Self-organised teams

Agile working encourages self-organisation, which means giving teams more responsibility and autonomy in making decisions. Team members must be willing to take on more responsibility and collaborate as an autonomous unit.


Continuous feedback and improvements

Collecting feedback from customers and team members throughout the development process is one source of information where accepting feedback is no longer seen as criticism but as a valuable tool for continuous improvement, without fear of criticism.


Customer-focused

Focusing on delivering working software that meets the needs of the customers requires a shift in mindset. Understanding the customers needs and prioritising features based on their value to the customer will become the goal.


Changing mindset/mentality will not be easy. Some employees will quickly tag along and possibly even be eager to engage in the digital and mindset transformation themselves. Others, however, will have more difficulty doing so. That is why it is so important that this component is taken seriously and deserves attention in the transformation process and plan.



Question 3 – How do you tackle digital transformation?


We now have a clearer picture of everything that ‘should happen’ before you get into the practicalities of digital transformation. Once everyone is behind the decision of changing systems, it is important to choose the right software system and a reliable provider. Switching to a new software system is not easy, and that is why it is so important that you bring the employees into it from the beginning. It is a complex process. It is not something you decide overnight and we are of the opinion that you should not do this on your own either.

The practical digital transformation process, which also covers the above points in detail, looks roughly like this:

  1. Analysis of the work processes and systems (identification and analysis of the pain points);
  2. Creating a digital transformation plan (objectives, budget, stakeholders);
  3. Choosing a software system and provider;
  4. Implementation of the software system incl. data migration;
  5. Training and educating of all employees;
  6. Optimising the system and processes;
  7. Innovation: adoption of new technologies.

Step 1: Analysis of the work processes and systems

Analysing the working processes and systems is the first step you need to take in the digital transformation process. It is basically what we described above. The analyses will reveal your pain points, which then need to be turned into a structured and solid transformation plan. Needless to say, you do this together with your employees.
As mentioned earlier, if you ‘actually already know’ that digital transformation is inevitable, it might be wise to talk to someone outside the organisation who has knowledge of such systems. This could be a consultant, but these could also be peers who might advise and assist you in this regard. Tackling the digital transformation process alone is generally not a good idea.

In fact, it could imply that step 3 ‘choosing the software system and supplier’, actually ends up being step 1 in your digital transformation process. If you immediately start looking for the software system that suits your business and find a reliable supplier, you will be able to make a thorough analysis of the work processes and systems with them. It is a standard part of the service that providers offer when it comes to developing and building a reliable, flexible and robust software system specifically tailored to your needs and requirements.

For convenience, we will keep the above roadmap, but it is Agile, so the steps can be switched around according to the situation.

Step 2: Creating a digital transformation plan

Once a decision has been made to adopt a new system, it is important that you approach it in a structured way. Drafting a digital transformation plan with measurable objectives that align with the overall corporate vision is the next step in the digital transformation process. These objectives should drive the digital transformation.

Consider:

Digital analysis and strategy – Analyse the existing technology infrastructure and determine which adjustments are needed. Develop a comprehensive digital strategy which analyses the current state of the organisation, identifies digital opportunities and outlines a roadmap for implementation. Consider cloud solutions, integration tools and security measures.


Risk analysis and compliance – Develop a strategy for data management, analysis and use. Address data quality, privacy, and security. Evaluate risks associated with digital transformation and develop strategies to manage these. Ensure that all changes comply with legal and regulatory compliance requirements.


Measurable KPIs and performance monitoring – Define measurable KPIs (Critical Performance Indicators) to track the progress of the digital transformation. Implement systems to monitor and report regularly.

Stakeholder engagement – Identify stakeholders/key players and determine how they are to be involved in the digital transformation. Consult and set up multidisciplinary teams that will be involved in the digital transformation. As mentioned earlier, your employees know better than anyone else what they need from the systems.

Innovation and adaptability (change management) – Encourage a culture of innovation and adaptability within your organisation. Encourage employees to come up with new ideas, to experiment and anticipate change. This includes addressing any resistance to change.

Knowledge & talent development – Identify the skills and know-how of employees. Offer training, workshops and development opportunities to enable your employees to effectively use new systems, tools and ways of working.

Budget and resources – Set a budget for the digital transformation. Ensure that sufficient resources are available for all aspects of the transformation process.

Customer focus and experience – Put customers at the heart of digital transformation. Improve the customer experience by optimising and adapting digital channels to meet customers’ needs.

Successful digital transformation depends on integrating these elements into a coherent plan. With a clear vision, the right technology foundation, the use of data-driven insights, fostering an Agile culture and developing the right skills, you can get the most out of your digital transformation as an organisation.

Step 3: Choosing a software system and provider

This question is basically 2 questions in one. The following aspects are both equally important in the entire digital transformation process:

  • How do I choose the right software for our business?

  • How to find a reliable software provider?


How to choose the right Software System for your business?

When choosing the right software system, you will need to define and figure out the following points:

Determine the goals, scope and needs

  • Identify the specific goals you want to achieve with the new software.

  • List the functions and abilities that are essential to your business processes.


Set the budget

Perhaps we are repeating ourselves a bit, but be budget-conscious, so set a realistic budget for software acquisition, implementation and maintenance.


Research the market
  • Conduct extensive research on the software available on the market which meets your needs.
  • Compare different solutions and shortlist the most suitable options.
  • At the bottom of this article you will find an article [7]on various software services.

Demos and test versions

Ask for demos of the software and, if possible, try out test versions to evaluate usability and functionalities. After evaluation, it is important that any feature can be adapted.


Compatibility and integration

Check whether the software is compatible with existing systems and can be easily integrated into the operating environment.


User feedback

  • Consult reviews and feedback from other companies using the same software.

  • Ask the provider for references of existing customers.

Future scalability

Make sure the software is scalable and can grow with the needs of your business in the future.


Take these points into account when searching for a reliable supplier.

How to find a reliable software provider?

This is perhaps the most important step in the whole digital transformation process.

Don’t just believe everything that software providers/suppliers tell you and/or promise you (read more about this in article-4)


Some questions you can ask yourselves:

* What kind of company do we want to be? Are you striving for growth, innovation, sustainability or customer focus?

 

* What kind of company is the software provider? Does the supplier sell software licences or do they develop the software themselves?

* What is the ideal outcome and what result do you have in mind? Digital upgrade or digital transformation?


Consider the following points in your search for a reliable and experienced provider.


Reputation and experience

As mentioned earlier when checking feedback and references. Research the reputation of the provider. How long have they been in business? What experience do they have in your specific industry? Are there companies already working with their software?


Certification and compliance

Check if the provider complies with relevant industry standards and certifications.


Support and training

Assess the level of customer support and availability of training for your team during implementation but also in the future when the system is upgraded.


Licence agreement and terms

Read the licence agreement carefully. Make sure all terms and conditions are clear and in line with your needs and wishes.


Maintenance and updates

Ask about the provider’s policy on software updates, maintenance and any extra costs.


Financial stability and security

Check the financial stability of the supplier to ensure they can continue to support you long-term. But also whether your data is secured.


Contractual flexibility

Ensure flexibility in the contract so that it can be adapted to changing business conditions.


By carefully researching, gathering feedback and negotiating well, you can choose the best software and provider for your business.

Step 4: Implementation of the software system incl. data migration

After choosing the provider, it’s time to implement your software system. If all goes well, the provider will work together with you to build and implement the software system.

Carefully plan and prepare the implementation to minimise the impact on existing business processes.

Assemble an Implementation Team

Assign responsibilities to team members and appoint a project manager.


Set timelines

Develop and establish a detailed timeline with milestones. This ensures clarity for all parties involved.


Building the software system
The software provider will work with the project team and, based on the transformation plan, will start building your new software system in iterative steps.

Testing
Next, users start testing the developed tools and software in a test environment. Based on these user experiences, adjustments can always be made before the software goes ‘live’. Through testing, you safeguard the functionalities, performance and security of the system. 


Implementation
After thorough testing by users and adjustments to functionalities, the system can go ‘live’. Don’t forget to offer training for all employees who will be working with the implemented functionalities and/or tools.

Datamigraton

Data migration is perhaps the most tense moment of the implementation process. The provider will work with you to create an inventory and classification of all the existing data. Based on this information, a detailed migration plan will be prepared so that the data is transferred accurately and securely. Before going live this part too will require testing, to identify and rectify possible errors.


There are many other things involved in developing and implementing a new software system and tools. Such as communication, evaluation and monitoring. Broadly speaking, this is what is absolutely necessary. By paying attention to these points, you can reduce the chances of complications and ensure that the implementation of the software system goes smoothly. Involving stakeholders and planning adequate training and support are especially crucial to the success of the implementation process.



Step 5: Training and educating of all employees


Employee training and education during the transition to a new software system are a key aspect for the success of the implementation. Apart from learning technical skills, and becoming familiar with the new system and tools, this ongoing commitment is key to unlocking the full potential of the new software. 

Well-trained employees not only understand the functionalities of the software, but can also apply them effectively in their daily tasks. This reduces resistance to change, increases productivity, minimises errors and promotes a positive work environment.


Training and education not only provide the necessary skills for immediate transition, but also lay a solid foundation for continuous growth and adaptation to future developments. It is an investment in both the success of individual employees and the overall efficiency and competitiveness of your company.



Step 6: Optimising the system and processes


Optimisation of a software system and its workflows is crucial for companies seeking efficiency, flexibility and competitive advantage. By continuously evaluating and adjusting both the software and its workflows, organisations can improve their operational performance.

Workflow optimisation aims to eliminate unnecessary steps, reducing lead times and improving overall team collaboration. Which in turn leads to faster decision-making, increased customer satisfaction and better adaptation to changing market conditions.


A reliable, robust and flexible software system ensures that unused functionalities can be identified and exploited, and workflows are streamlined and implemented more efficiently. It not only guarantees better system performance, but also increases productivity and generates cost savings.


Continuous monitoring and optimisation of software and work processes is a key component for any business which not only strengthens their competitive position, but also allows them to respond flexibly to new challenges and opportunities. It is a strategic approach that creates the basis for sustainable success and growth in any fast-changing business environment.



Step 7: Innovation: adoption of new technologies


New technologies and innovations are currently developing at a rapid pace. Keeping an open mind and exploring new technologies and trends is an important aspect in the digital transformation process. When choosing software and suppliers, this is perhaps a much overlooked aspect.

If the software is flexible and innovative, new technologies, functionalities and tools (e.g. AI) can be applied, which in turn strengthens your competitive position.

In this perspective, fostering a culture of innovation and creativity within the organisation is yet another aspect of consideration. With the implementation of an innovative software system, employees will grow along with it and adopt an innovative way of thinking and working. Your engineers can start exploring and thinking of new possibilities again.


Spire eX digital transformation program

Spiresolutions meanwhile has in-depth knowledge of how to approach change in production and project-based companies. We do not focus only on the implementation of a new system but more importantly we address all the above issues and more. This is why we have developed our digital transformation programme Spire eX.


Digital transformation is more than just the implementation of a software system, it is the entire process of implementation, integration, innovation and adaptation in your business, now and in the future.

The Spire eX program is designed with the needs of project-driven organisations in mind, with a specific focus on manufacturing and production companies.

Spire eX – Project planning and roadmap for digital transformation

The Spire eX program will be developed using a project planning & roadmap. The roadmap is developed using a clear, milestone-based framework in which the full project scope is broken down into iterative steps.

This includes, among other things:

  • Delivery of the Spire Essentials system; 

  • Detailed stages for data migration; 

  • Project Implementation, optimisation and innovation; 

  • Detailed training sessions; and

  • The transition from user support to the Spire Support team. 

Perhaps this is all a bit too much information to take in all at once. Therefore, of course, you can always contact us without any obligation, or make an appointment with one of our staff members. Digital transformation is our passion and we would like to see every company continue to grow in an efficient and enjoyable way.

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Are you ready for the next step or are you still unsure if something needs to change at all? If the answer is yes, but you don’t know exactly what or how? Or you’re thinking of a different or new system? Or is there something else? Take a look at our website for more in-depth information, detailed resources, practical examples and our solutions.

If you have any questions or want more information, or just want to have a chat with us, don’t hesitate to contact us or schedule a free  gratis consult/chat. We would love to help you!
SpireSolutions – Digital Transformation Made Easy

Additional information and articles on digital transformation

Our blog contains many different articles on various topics, all related to digital transformation. Please feel free to look around. Here are some articles related to the topics raised in this article.

[1] Sales Efficiency – a systematic approach to sales growth
[2] Ready for a transformation of your business systems?
[3] Blocked! Is your present system able to handle your new strategy?
[4] The nightmare you want to avoid: 5 risks ERP providers are reluctant to tell you
[5] Software Chaos: when systems fail, users suffer
[6] Agile Management: which methods are there? What are the differences?
[7] We at Spire choose SaaS. But what else is there to choose from?

[8] 10 aspects you need to know in advance, when looking for new business software

[9] Scope Creep: what is it really and how do you avoid it?
[10] The pitfalls of data migration: Why you better not gamble with your business data

[11] Agile Thinking: the secret weapon that (hardly) anyone knows about
[12] Churn Risk – How integrated business processes reduce the risk of churning customers

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