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Should I run a parallel system?

This is a question that many clients ask us, either because their external systems personnel have expressed their opinion on the matter, or because they have heard that other companies, when changing systems, do not suspend the operation of the system that is going to be replaced, operating it in parallel with the new system just for security, in case the new one fails.

At LOVIS EOS, as part of the implementation methodology, we inform the client before starting the project that NO parallel system will be run. This fact is frequently reminded during the preparation stage for the start-up of operations in LOVIS EOS.

The reasons are as follows:

When the client’s personnel know that a parallel system will be run at the start-up of operations with LOVIS EOS, they subconsciously believe that they will have a safety net in case something goes wrong. Therefore, that possible situation becomes less critical in their mind, causing them not to fully concentrate on reviewing the tests before the start-up since the old system is still functioning.

Improving processes is part of the transformation of the client into a high-performance company, which is the goal of LOVIS EOS. In addition, as a consequence of the above, the timing of the records can also be different (in LOVIS EOS, the record is made when the event occurs, to reflect reality at any time).

Running a parallel system can cause overtime work, exhaustion and stress of personnel, confusion with the systems, and the comparison between the systems becomes complicated due to the differences mentioned above.
These differences cause users to require more than double the effort to record operations in both systems, which are not necessarily similar since the processes are different from what they were used to doing.

It is mentioned more than double effort because comparing the information generated by both systems can require a lot of effort, especially since the timing and the way in which each system presents information are different.
Moreover, if the user does not have time to make the double recording, they give preference to the previous system, as it is officially the one in use, neglecting the new one, and this could cause the start-up to fail.

When running a parallel system, it is very easy to decide to suspend the start-up. However, in the personnel’s mind, the idea may arise that the new system failed, when in reality, it is a consequence of running the parallel system. Removing that idea from the personnel’s mind will cost a lot of work. This last reason is another reason not to run a parallel system.

Moreover, running a parallel system sends a negative subliminal message to personnel that the company’s management is hesitant to let go of the previous system because they doubt that the new system will work.
In contrast, the subliminal message sent to personnel is positive because they know that the company has full confidence in the new system because it has been tested beforehand.

In the LOVIS EOS implementation methodology, comprehensive tests are conducted with the company’s real data before the start-up to ensure that users are fully convinced that the system functions correctly throughout the operational cycle and that it is correctly reflected in accounting.

Before the start-up, the General Management must notify all personnel that, as of a certain date, the previous system will be officially disconnected to begin operations with the new system, emphasising that they have the support of all personnel to make this start-up successful.

Then, users’ attention will be 100% focused on the new system, with the confidence that it works based on the comprehensive tests previously conducted, and they will be focusing their attention on detecting any possible errors that may arise, usually caused by the learning curve effect and correcting it immediately, of course, under the supervision of our consultants.

If well organised, the start-up of the new system in a company becomes such an important event; that will benefit the growth and process management greatly from within.

Alfredo Velasco

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