Helping our clients overcome complex business challenges with our Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is what we do best. Due to recent travel restrictions, we’ve adjusted our ways of working and have continued our implementations remotely.
Recent developments in video-conferencing technology have had a huge impact – clear and effective virtual interaction between multiple parties is now a reality, we can easily share information, demo pieces of functionality such as deliver training, share documents on screen, hold virtual break-out sessions, and use on-screen whiteboards and post-it notes to facilitate discussion and capture information – just like in a real meeting room! And, to top it off, the technology is available at little or no cost to the customer.
Barry Moore, Operations Director, has extensive experience in supply chain management, systems implementations and change management programs. His everyday focus for Keelings Knowledge is to ensure that our Implementation and Application Support teams are continuously developing, reviewing, and improving our ways of working. He is making sure that we have enough resources with the necessary skills and talent to deliver for our customers while planning for multiple projects and meeting budgetary targets.
We spoke with Barry to discuss his thoughts on remote implementation, why this is a valuable option, key benefits for customers, the processes involved and the current experience.
Can you give us a brief description of remote implementation for those who may be unfamiliar with this term?
The difference between regular Implementations and Remote Implementations is that the key elements like sharing Information and Data, Training, User Acceptance Tests and going live can be carried out remotely, via video conferencing, structured approaches to data collection, and remote deployment and performance monitoring of the software.
What are the reasons why companies may choose to undertake a remote implementation rather than a conventional on premise implementation?
Our customers are busy people and the demands of the Fresh Produce industry can be unpredictable – they need to be able to focus on the immediate needs of their business as and when required. Remote implementation offers a variety of benefits;
- Greater flexibility for the customer
- Easier access to the implementation team
- Quality engagement is not limited to onsite visits or on mutual availability of multiple resources
- The Implementation can be tailored to fit neatly and seamlessly into the customers schedule.
- Meetings can be arranged, at short notice to address questions
- Queries can be dealt with faster through real-time access and engagement.
- Remote implementation requires less movement of people thereby reducing the carbon footprint of the project.
What is the process involved in a remote implementation?
We follow the same implementation phases when implementing remotely as we do when we do a normal implementation but some elements of the implementation that might would normally be done on the customer’s site take place using on-line tools and/or video-conferencing platforms.
Sharing information is a key part of implementing software – the customer needs to tell us about their business so that we can propose the optimum implementation plan for them. We can then train them effectively in the use of our software so that they can carry out effective user acceptance testing and hit the ground running with our software when it goes live in their business.
All of the above elements of implementation can be carried out remotely.
What is the advantage of implementing with Keelings Knowledge?
When we meet our customers, we already speak the language of their industry and we are therefore able to focus on any unique elements of their individual businesses rather than waste time having to grapple with the fundamentals. Also, our ability to effectively deliver so many of our implementation services remotely offers more flexibility to the customer.
Is your product customizable to special client’s needs?
Our out-of-the box product can be easily configured to support businesses that operate in the Food Services sector, the Retail sector, or the Trading/Wholesale sector. Our product has grown out of the fresh produce sector, rich in functionality limiting any required customizations.
That said, as much as possible, within our product development process, we work with our customers to support requests for customizations and we are continuously developing our product and each new version contains new functionality to enhance our standard configurations. We are also able to develop and support interfaces with other third-party business systems like Finance, Customs, and Document Management systems.
What is the current experience with remote software implementations?
The experience so far has been very positive – remote implementations are proving as effective as normal implementations and have introduced more flexibility for our customers which ultimately means less disruption to their day-to-day operations during implementation.
Any final Statement?
Remote Implementation offers more flexibility to our customers in how they manage their resources, it improves accessibility for the customer to our implementation team, it enhances knowledge sharing, and it has a positive impact on the carbon footprint of the project. Coupled with our first-hand experience of the fresh produce industry we are uniquely positioned to deliver our services remotely and making remote implementation a real and viable option for our customers.