The secret to minimizing risk in metals system selection

Scott Schliewe
| 5/9/2023
The secret to minimizing risk in metals system selection

Most metals companies know that in order to step into the future, accelerate their digital transformation, and take advantage of advanced technologies, an upgrade to existing systems is likely required. But the system selection process can be daunting and full of risk, leaving metals leaders unsure how to move forward.

The pressure is high to choose the right system. Cross-functional systems affect all areas of a business, and making the wrong choice can lead to costly results. That’s why some metals leaders get stuck in a cycle of uncertainty as they weigh the pros and cons of their options, and others decide it’s safer to stick with existing systems.

What many metals leaders don’t realize is that choosing software is only part of the system selection process. By considering both the software and the implementation, metals companies can increase the chance of experiencing the benefits of technology and decrease the risk of failure.

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System selection and software platforms

System selection involves many factors, but metals leaders should look for a system that is easy to use, includes mobile capabilities, aligns with other technologies that might already be in use, and offers the adaptability and agility available in cloud-based technologies. For metals companies, it is especially important that any large-scale enterprise system they might choose has custom functionality specific to the industry, like Crowe Metals Accelerator for Microsoft Dynamics 365™.

Even when metals leaders take time to evaluate and select a system that best fits their business needs, the software platform can fail to deliver its intended outcome. Such shortcomings often are a result of how the implementation project was managed rather than a problem with the software. That’s why a successful implementation process is critical.

The importance of implementation in system selection

Once metals leaders choose a system and software platform, they will only realize the benefits of their investment if the platform is implemented successfully and used effectively.

The process of going live with a chosen system doesn’t happen overnight. It requires both an engaged internal team and a trusted consultant who can help guide that team to realize success. Additionally, those who make the system selection should consider and plan for the practical ways new technology will be introduced to and used by employees.

3 keys to a successful implementation

1. Build an internal team

Designating an internal team to assist in the implementation process is vital for a successful rollout. A change management team that is familiar with the company culture can help effectively communicate goals, expectations, and instructions to employees.

To experience the full benefits of the technology, relevant stakeholders need to be identified, educated, and included as a central part of the implementation process to avoid resistance to change and to increase the likelihood of adoption. These change agents should have specific roles and responsibilities throughout every stage of the implementation, and they should be available to provide feedback along the way.

2. Create a template

The internal team should create a template to be used as the road map for implementation. This template should include elements such as a requirements matrix, designated environments, and migration processes. Such level of detail and intentionality helps bring greater consistency in the deployment, taps into best practices from across the organization, implements changes faster, and reduces cost and risk.

Although creating a template is vital, metals leaders might also choose an implementation consultant who has experience implementing large systems across multiple companies and complex environments.

3. Find a trusted consultant

Finding an experienced consultant to help the transition to the new system go smoothly is another key factor in a successful implementation. The right consultant will have the knowledge and experience to offer guidance, find and fill any gaps within the system, and work with the internal team to help it succeed. It’s especially vital that the consultant have implementation experience specifically in the metals industry and with the chosen technology.

When choosing an agency to work with, metals leaders should also consider the long-term working relationship that they’re trying to build. Rather than holding a few consultants at arm’s length to see which one has the best offer or lowest cost, leaders should dive in and work with one consultant to determine whether the relationship is a good fit.

Work with Crowe for metals system selection

At Crowe, we understand that stakes are high in system selection. Choosing the right software and implementation specialist can be overwhelming and fraught with risk, but it doesn’t have to be. Our team can help you navigate your digital transformation journey.

By combining decades of metals industry experience with deep specialization in technology, Crowe specialists can help metals businesses strategically integrate the newest technologies, seamlessly implement new systems, and ultimately achieve business and customer success.

Contact us today to find out how we can help guide you through system selection and to learn more about Crowe Metals Accelerator for Microsoft Dynamics 365, our industry-specific solution.

Microsoft and Dynamics 365 are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.

Contact us

Scott Schliewe
Managing Director, Consulting