If your business is planning an overhaul of its rebate management, then you know finding the right solution is only half the battle. The second half is actually implementing the system. No matter the size of your organization, implementing a new rebate management system into your existing processes can be a daunting task, since you and your employees need to adapt to the new system and learn how to use it effectively. After making an initial investment in a new solution, the last thing you want is a failed implementation.
It’s important to have a solid plan on how to move forward by first assessing the current situation. While the software implementation process may take some time, preparation and planning is the best way to ensure the implementation goes as smoothly as possible. To position you and your team for success, here are some things to consider prior to starting your software implementation.
1. Identify your goals and objectives
Before you begin your software implementation, it is crucial that you identify your objectives and determine exactly what your business’ needs are. Given the numerous benefits of a rebate management system, you might have an idea about what it can do for your business, but do you know exactly what goals it will help you achieve?
You should also analyze your KPIs so you can effectively identify the problems that this new rebate management software will help you solve. This will also give you an insight into your future projections, so you can adapt your business to the change.
2. Get executive buy-in
A common stumbling block for new software implementation is a lack of buy-in from executives or other key stakeholders. Rallying your executive team should occur early on in the process because they need to understand the purpose and value that the new rebate management software will bring to the business. Collaborating with your executive team will help ensure that the new software, and its implementation plan, are truly hitting the mark for your business.
3. Always start with a plan
Implementing a new rebate management system starts with proper planning, as there are key decisions you need to make in order to move forward with the software implementation project. Make certain that every piece of the software implementation process is captured in this plan; ask questions about business rules, workflows and best practices for this process. Determine who in the company will use the rebate management software and for what purpose.
Encourage open communication between your business and the software solution provider to ensure business goals are effectively met. Early collaboration will make sure that all concerned parties are prepared for a successful software implementation. Then once you’ve determined the plan, you can engage your vendor or support team to help start mapping out the project requirements and working towards your anticipated launch date.
4. Ensure software integration
Businesses are able to operate more efficiently and effectively when systems are integrated. It is important to ensure that your new rebate management software will be able to seamlessly integrate with any pre-existing systems such as an ERP system. This will help increase overall workflow productivity.
5. Sort your rebate data
Another step for successful software implementation is data migration because if done properly, it will help you effectively streamline your operations, and if done improperly, it could take a long time to fix. Before importing all of your rebate data into your new system, you should filter out everything that you find unnecessary or incorrect, so the new system is accurate as can be. Your goal is to clean up your data and transfer only the most important information so that you can achieve efficiency and data integrity.
6. Select a project team and leader
Before implementation of any software, you need to get your team on board and nominate a committed and capable project leader who can ensure that the implementation process goes smoothly. Therefore, it is essential to pick someone who is familiar with software and comfortable training others. Their focus should be on helping and training their team on how to use and rollout the software. Plus, they should make sure that they fully understand the importance of the software implementation project and the impact it will have on your organization, but also explain their roles and responsibilities.
7. Proper training is essential
Gaining employee buy-in during the training process is critical to the long-term success of your rebate management system. Your team will quickly adopt a new software solution if they know how to use it, and it ultimately makes life easier for everyone. The bigger your team, the more robust and detailed your training program needs to be, it may make sense to ask your vendor to host some virtual training sessions. Or for smaller teams, webinars or online tutorials may be the better route. Every business has different needs, so it's important that your software vendor customizes the training session to meet your specific business needs.
8. Lean on the software vendor for support
There is a lot of heavy lifting involved with moving to a new rebate management solution. The process of migrating and organizing existing data into a new platform can be a massive project. Instead of devoting your company's own time and resources towards the software implementation process, rely on your software vendor to support you.
Additionally, your employees will likely need help in the early stages of the launch. Make sure they have easy access to your software’s support services, so they can get help with troubleshooting or receive on-demand training.
Implementing a new rebate management system is a big project and comes with some risk and a substantial amount of change but the end result should be significant ROI, increased automation, and better business outcomes. At Enable our goal is to make implementation as easy as possible for our customers.
If you have any questions about your software implementation, please contact us.