Six tips for implementing Sage 100 Contractor
You are changing software systems for a reason! You need a system that works the way your business does; one that has the accounting basics built in right from the core. When you choose Sage 100 Contractor you get a system that provides defaults for the Chart of Accounts and Cost Codes. These defaults will save you hours in setup time! Unless you have major complexities, it is almost always easier to modify from the defaults rather than start from scratch.
Watch training videos
Every software solution is truly unique, even to the most seasoned of users. Implementing a new system includes setting it up and learning to use it. Although it’s pretty ‘dry’ material, watching a video of system navigation and functionality will show you what you don’t know. This will give you the foundation for understanding your software — then you can decide what features needs customizing or changing.
Don’t tackle too much, too soon
It’s tempting to want to use all of the functionality of your new system immediately. However, starting with the necessities and allowing the system to evolve will give you more functionality and less stress. Make an implementation checklist for what is critical to get started immediately. After three months, create a roadmap for what you envision for the next quarter, and update the roadmap quarterly. What you envision you need in the future may change as you learn how to use your new system.
Set realistic expectations
You would never start construction on a site that had not been prepared first. Similarly, you should manage a software implementation as you would a project. Ensure your personnel have the skills and training required to complete the project on budget, and on time.
Appoint a Project Manager who is responsible for the success of the project. Unlike everything else you purchase, where the first day is the best day — software it is the opposite: the first day is the worst day. The best day will be down the road when everything is set up and functioning. And you need a Project Manager to do get there.
Identify your starting point
You have heard the adage, “garbage in, garbage out.” If you can’t assemble the information you need, or your books are in a mess, you may be headed for failure. Sometimes you may need an accountant rather than a software system.
Use a certified consultant
You are in the business of being a contractor. Although you may be able to implement your software yourself, perhaps your time is better spent on your business. You only need to set up the software once, and it’s critical to do so correctly. Hiring a consultant at $150 per hour to set it up initially may seem expensive, but hiring someone to ‘fix’ what was imported incorrectly or not properly configured later is MUCH more expensive. That’s just good business sense – which is why you are purchasing a new system. Good luck!