ERP: A roadmap for success for government contractors

Whether you’re early in your ERP system journey, or further along, this webinar recap can help government contractors think through important considerations.

ERP implementation illustration

One way to stay a step ahead of your competition as a government contractor is by properly setting up and managing your ERP solution. Whether or not this is set up correctly can affect operations at your organization.

During CohnReznick’s recent Government Contracting Lunch & Learn Webinar, ERP: A Roadmap for Success for Government Contractors, CohnReznick’s government contracting professionals John Infantolino, Principal; Louis Delouiser, Senior Manager; and Debbie Waggoner, Director, discussed the latest developments and government contracting ERP trends.

Five-minute roadmap recap

From choosing an ERP system and selecting a vendor to ERP best practices, there are important considerations that should not be overlooked. We’ve crafted a roadmap geared specifically towards government contractors.

Whether you’re early in your ERP system journey, or further along, this webinar recap can help government contractors think through important considerations.

  1. Things to know at system selection and RFI: 
    1. Will the system support various contract types (Cost Plus, Fixed Price, T&M, etc.)?
    2. Will it allow you to set up indirect cost pools and bases as well as allow you to easily calculate your indirect rates?
    3. Will it allow you to set up provisional billing rates?
    4. Will your system support job cost reports at various detailed levels?
    5. Will your system provide the job cost reports that you need to populate an annual incurred cost submission?
  2. Choosing a vendor:
    1. Full ERP trade study needs to be done before a decision is made
    2. Due diligence that may include bringing in third party resources to assist with software selection
  3. Common mistakes to avoid:
    1. Planning, communication, and collaboration are key elements to any successful implementation.
  4. Best practices specifically for government contractors
    1. Requirements, validation, and designs
      1. Ask questions… LOTS of questions! Identify as many possible unknowns as you can.
      2. Value your subject matter expert’s (SME) input in design and testing activities.
      3. Don’t fall into the trap of “because that’s the way we’ve always done it”.
      4. Think outside the box. What can the system do for you?
      5. Learn from previous implementation failures.
    2. Testing and validation
      1. Done incorrectly, this can bring your business to a screeching halt, you can spend months or years correcting it, and it can be expensive as well as bring additional costs and risks
      2. Can help make sure SMEs are freed up from day-to-day responsibilities
      3. Utilize automated testing tools if available
      4. Make sure your data and testing results are free of errors 
      5. Confirm business processes align with system configuration
      6. Use this time to train users that are part of the testing process as this helps with adoption and change management  
    3. Project management
      1. Create a project schedule that has an achievable timeline
      2. Manage and mitigate project scope
      3. Ensure you have the necessary resources to support the project
      4. Track and monitor all project tasks
      5. Mitigate issues, risks, and manage scope creep
      6. Report and communicate to project stakeholders and the user community
    4. Change management
      1. Select advocates for organizational change and adoption
      2. Update your teams on implementation status to avoid adoption failure before final implementation go-live activities
      3. Change is hard but worth it
    5. Politics and emotions
      1. ERP implementations are hard, emotional, and political 
      2. Consider having a bonus pool for implementation staff
      3. Build trust in your team members and be there to help them succeed

Once all of this great work is done, don’t forget your post implementation activities. Meet with your team regularly, try to stay on top of issues as they arise, document what you learned so you can be better in the future, and don’t forget refresher trainings. 


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John Infantolino

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This has been prepared for information purposes and general guidance only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining specific professional advice. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this publication, and CohnReznick LLP, its partners, employees and agents accept no liability, and disclaim all responsibility, for the consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this publication or for any decision based on it.