Taking our own medicine with implementing an ERP upgrade

There is something to be said for taking your own medicine. As a SYSPRO distributor, K3 Syspro uses SYSPRO internally. 18 months ago we started on a journey to update our own internal systems. We didn’t want to be “one of those builders with their own house falling down.

The first step was to upgrade our SYSPRO ERP system to SYSPRO 7. In fact, we were the second company in the world to do this. Why, you might ask? Well some new people joined and we needed to do some internal retraining, the improvements to the SYSPRO 7 interface meant less training and better processes.

Also, we had a requirement to change the way we processed sales orders so that we could integrate SYSPRO with our new diary management system (SinglePoint). The new features within SYSPRO 7 power tailoring made this possible.

I have to admit, I felt the pressure. After so many years implementing systems and evangelizing to other companies about how to approach an implementation – what if I got it wrong? To be honest, we faced some challenges just like our customers, so I thought it was time to fess up and share them.

Keeping the scope small

The SYSPRO 7 upgrade went smoothly, the new users in finance were trained and using SYSPRO 7 well. Except, we hadn’t moved forward with the integration side. We weren’t actually benefiting from the integration that provided the business case. We had started small to keep things simple and manageable, but the project had stalled.

I had to refocus the management team, I had to put the integration piece of the ERP project to the top of the agenda again. I appointed one person to be responsible for the work and ensured they reported back to me each week on the progress made, key issues and future risks.


Aside from the SYSPRO 7 upgrade, we also replaced our diary system. Of course, we went through a robust testing process before we went live with a selected number of users. Except, honestly, it wasn’t quite as robust as perhaps it should have been. Fortunately, nothing really major happened, no consultant ever ended up at the wrong customer or anything like that, but enough to be very annoying to our end users.

Some of the things we could have done better:

  • Had more end users engaged in the testing
  • Forced the users that did test to document all the tests, not just the errors
  • Used testers not familiar with the process to do the final testing rather than the users the carried out the initial testing.

The End Result

You know, we can’t work out how we managed before we had SYSPRO 7 and SinglePoint, they delivered:

  • Streamlined processes resulting in massive time savings and happy employees
  • Real-time analytics including an understanding of how service revenue is building through the month
  • Ability to use SYSPRO Espresso for queries on the move – great when you have a mobile workforce

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