CMS--Winning the Installation Game
A successful installation, for many small- to mid-size commercial printers, is achieved by reviewing technical manuals on the software of choice, asking proactive questions of the technology supplier, establishing a sound plan with key company personnel and, at all costs, maintaining an open dialogue with the supplier.
While the supplier may be responsibile for solid customer service, a proven and quality technology, and the technical support to deliver a successful implementation, the scope of the administrative planning and technical aptitude on the printer side, ultimately, will set the tone for the implementation process.
"Installation is the middle phase of a system implementation—and its success will be determined by the planning that went before, as well as the plan that comes after," advises Carol Andersen, president of Micro Ink, which serves small- to mid-size commercial printing operations. "No installation will succeed if management does not get behind the implementation of a new system; the installation time for any new technology is not the time to abdicate one's leadership role in any commercial printing company."
New systems bring change, Andersen continues, and most people fear change. "If managers are not involved in the entire process of implementation, then fear of the unknown will take over, the implementation will drift and the system will never be properly utilized," she contends, noting some chores that Micro Ink presses its users to do prior to installation:
- Appoint a project leader, or point person, to be the liaison between the vendor and the company. This employee will work with the vendor project leader to meet the implementation goals.
- Establish a realistic go-live date, and stick with it. The point person and the project leader can make this happen if management recognizes that the point person will need time to make things work.
- Establish milestones that should be reached as the project moves toward the go-live date. Milestones should be noted militantly on the calendar and distributed to all who are involved with the implementation. The vendor project leader and point person will work together to see that the milestones are met.