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How to Draw Up Your ERP Data Migration Plan in 6 Steps

2/9/23 10:00 AM


Data migration is an important part of an ERP implementation

The Visual South Professional Services team has been guiding and assisting Infor ERP implementation since 1994. One critical part in the implementation process is managing and converting data from your current system(s) to your new ERP application. Those activities happen throughout the ERP implementation project, not just at the beginning. This article explains how you can properly execute this activity in six clear steps.

1. Identify where your data resides

One of the initial actions for our customers is to determine where their data currently resides. For example, many legacy ERP systems lack functionality or are grossly underused. Users then add supplementary systems, such as spreadsheets, Access databases, FileMaker databases, SharePoint documents, and hard copies of data to compensate. All this data must be gathered and transitioned to electronic data formats to be added to your new ERP system. Modern ERP applications, like Infor CloudSuite Industrial/SyteLine, and Infor VISUAL will alleviate the need for the supporting sub-systems you currently have in place.

You also may be converting and pulling data from other types of non-systems, such as legacy or entry-level CRM applications. We will convert all data to either the native Infor CloudSuite Industrial CRM or even Infor CRM, providing a tight CRM integration.

Related: ERP Database Design: A Guide for Non-Technical Managers

2. Extract the data

The traditional extraction method our team uses is to simply pull data from your ERP and other systems into Excel. We understand that some databases are not as “open” as others, but our team has never been deterred from extracting data from various sources.

Additionally, data kept in hard copies may need to be manually keyed in.

In some cases, we have start-up companies manually enter data when it’s manageable. It is a great exercise for users to quickly become familiar with the application.

3. Clean the data

After extracting the data, we then need to clean it. We traditionally assign this as a homework item to our customers because our team won’t know your clients, vendors, part numbers, or inventory—your employee will have the sharpest eyes when it comes to removing non-relative data, replicas, misspells, or non-active data sets.

Having a useable and pristine ERP database will increase your efficiency and improve the user experience, as you will not have to filter and transact in a cluttered, incorrect database.

4. Map and import the data

Once the data is clean, we will ensure that all needed data is in place before import. For example, Infor ERP may require data for a mandatory field that was not previously used. This data must be created for the ERP to operate as designed. The data is then formatted properly, mapped, and uploaded into your new ERP application. You will then have a test/training database for training, procedural development, validation, and piloting.

5. Data update during implementation

We also recommend doing periodic data uploads during the implementation. This will be importing smaller sets of data using the same methodology as the initial data conversion. This allows your company to have as complete a dataset as possible as you work toward go-live.

6. Load dynamic data at go-live

This is a critical component that must be included in your proposed implementation plan. You have to add open or dynamic data that is in process, or hasn’t been converted to date. These items typically include:

    • Open AR
    • Open AP
    • Open Work Orders
    • Open Projects
    • Open Service Order
    • Changed Inventory

Have a plan and resources in place to enter these dynamic data sets correctly before go-live.

Related: How To Run an ERP Conversion and Data Migration

Be prepared

An ERP data migration plan and strategy is one of the critical components of a successful implementation. Companies should focus on having data integrity and a pristine database when moving to a new ERP platform, or even when creating a new database for a re-implementation.

The Visual South team can provide guidance on best practices for all ERP implementation activities, including ideas for managing your data conversion situation. Please reach out to Visual South and schedule your free consultation with our team.

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Tim O'Brien

Written by Tim O'Brien

Tim has over 20 years of successful experience helping companies improve their processes and operations using enterprise software solutions. Those enterprise solutions include Enterprise Resource Planning for manufacturers, Service Management for service oriented companies, and Enterprise Asset Management in the process manufacturing industry.