Prospects typically ask me how long I estimate their implementations to be. I discuss the importance of a dedicated project manager on their side, making key staff members readily available to our consultants, and other resource related recommendations to ensure that project milestone dates are met. Eventually I bring up the touchy topic of data conversion and migration.
I cannot stress enough that not properly converting your existing data into the correct formats accepted by the BatchMaster application can seriously impact your project schedule and even your operations after go live.
So let’s consider the integrity of your data and the steps one follows to convert and import the right sets of data into your new BatchMaster application.
Just because you may currently have a lot of data contained in spreadsheets and in your current software applications, doesn’t necessarily mean it all needs to be imported into BatchMaster. How many ex customer records, discontinued products, and just plain incorrect records that were never deleted, can you find in your current data?
This is the time to “clean house” and start fresh. Be honest, why take the time and effort to convert and migrate data that is inaccurate into your new system.
Your consulting team will be asking you for key master file data, such as customer vendor, item, formula specs, packaging specs, inventory, and financials. Transactional data, such as customer orders, purchase orders, and manufacturing orders, as well as Historical data like delivery and sales data may also be considered.
Knowing which data fields trigger and control the processes within BatchMaster is critical, so customer training coincides with data conversion. There will be some existing data fields you have defined in your current spreadsheets or applications that are simply not required in BatchMaster. And trust me, there will many data fields that differ in their values and formats between your current system and BatchMaster.
Our consulting team provides your team with several master templates in which you will populate your existing data. Sample structures are built into the templates to facilitate the mapping of data. Errors are immediately identifiable during the mapping process and can be resolved on an item basis or by using a global override within the template. There are many cases where a data field in one template is dependent on its definition in another template (e.g. item defined in the Item Master used in the Formula Spec). Referential integrity checks between templates are run to identify missing and bad links between master data sets.
Data errors are corrected either by reloading the corrected templates or performing manual updates to the imported records within BatchMaster, using the appropriate transactions. By exception vs global updates, manual vs system driven updates, those actions will be decided by your BatchMaster consulting team after looking at the amount of data requiring the necessary update.
Timing of Data Conversion and Imports
Too soon may incur some level of data maintenance to be performed in your old and new systems until go-live. Too late might push out a go-live date.
Your consulting team will ensure the timing and sequence of data migration is properly executed. Importing the General Ledger chart-of-accounts data has high priority. Populating item data ahead of formulation specifications is an obvious sequential step.
On a prospect call, my suggestion is to become knowledgeable on the key data elements and their values that drive the processes controlled by your BatchMaster application. Then apply that knowledge to accurately define the right data values in the Master templates, and ultimately in the key BatchMaster’s administrative and configuration transactions.
Bottomline, a successful data conversion and migration will ensure your implementation schedule remains on time and on budget, and that your processes will follow best manufacturing practices.