Aurthor Keith Dunkinson, Managing Director, SIS Global UK
Navigating Language Challenges in Global ERP Projects: A Comprehensive Guide
Embarking on a global ERP project is an exciting venture, but language considerations can quickly become a significant factor in its success. In this blog post, we’ll explore the various facets of language challenges in such projects and how organizations can address them effectively.
Language Considerations in Global ERP Projects
User Interface Language
Choosing the right primary language for the user interface is crucial. While the default might be the organization’s headquarters language, it’s essential to resist overusing language functionality to maintain clarity.
Alternate User Interface Languages
In some cases, alternate UI languages are necessary, especially for high-volume usage in specific departments. However, applying them to every screen might be unnecessary, requiring careful consideration.
Language Support for Suppliers and Team Members
Integrating diverse languages within the ERP system, including those of suppliers and team members, demands thoughtful planning. Considerations must extend beyond just translating menu items to encompass coding structures and data management.
Item Configuration and Coding
Configuring language settings in D365 F&O to align with the User Locale (Windows language selection) is a straightforward process. However, it’s essential to note that while the system can translate menu items, other elements such as item coding, numbering sequences, and analysis codes remain in the primary language.
Addressing this requires significant consideration, especially regarding global/local account numbering and coding structures. Moreover, careful attention is crucial to prevent data duplication during the migration process from disparate systems and across various countries. The importance of Data Management is amplified on global projects where multiple authors/editors contribute to shared Master Data and Configuration. This underscores the need for meticulous planning and execution in the realm of data organization to ensure the success of the ERP implementation.
Determining the primary language for project documents involves assessing the need for translations. Typically, this requirement is confined to specific training and testing documents, particularly for departments where the majority of staff may have limited proficiency in the primary language.
Regional Accents and Slang
Even when the language is the same, regional nuances like accents and slang can pose challenges. Encouraging team members to speak clearly and compiling a glossary of common terms can facilitate better communication. US Pants are trousers and UK pants are underwear! – and there are many more slightly amusing and more serious examples. It is worthy to note that UK and US Gallons are not the same size. There is no substitute for experience when managing organizational change which goes hand in hand with global ERP projects.
Leveraging Dynamics F&O Features
Dynamics F&O offers robust language support through features like “Labels” that enable the configuration of alternate display values based on the user’s Windows Locale. This flexibility extends to third-party facing documents, allowing organizations to tailor communication according to language preferences.
Understanding Localization Beyond Language
It’s important to distinguish between language and localization (or Localisation if you prefer). Localization pertains to adapting the core system’s functionality to meet country-specific requirements. For instance, Sales Tax in the U.S. and VAT in Europe are instances of local functionality determined by the setup of the Dynamics Company being utilized, not by the Windows Locale (Language) settings.
Local Language Skills
When multiple languages are required, utilizing local language Dynamics consultants and domain experts is recommended. Translation efforts should prioritize maintaining accuracy, especially for technical terms and menu items. It is also often helpful to consider key Dynamics and Organizational terminology and produce a multi-lingual “Global Glossary of Terms”.
Training in a Multilingual Environment
Effective training in a multilingual setting involves incorporating subject matter experts from the main project supported by local language specialists. This combination ensures a deep understanding of the project context while facilitating smoother knowledge transfer.
Partnering with DynamicsPact
For organizations requiring local language Dynamics skills globally, partnering with organizations like Dynamics Pact can be invaluable. DynamicsPact brings together over thirty of the world’s most competent Dynamics providers, offering language support in over 100 countries. SIS Global has been a member of DynamicsPact since its inception and with the power of this network have been able to deliver Microsoft Dynamics 365 solutions across the globe.
In conclusion, navigating language challenges in global ERP projects requires a nuanced approach. By considering the diverse contexts and utilizing the features provided by ERP systems like Dynamics F&O, organizations can foster effective international collaboration and streamline their global operations.
With a two-decade-long partnership with Microsoft, SIS Global stands as a seasoned player in the Dynamics space. Leveraging our extensive knowledge and fortified by our collaboration with DynamicsPact, we specialize in executing expansive ERP implementations worldwide. Our methodology intertwines strategic insight, technical proficiency, and a track record of successfully handling substantial projects. We adeptly navigate the complexities of global expansion, transforming challenges into avenues for growth and success. If you are gearing up for a global project rollout, we invite you to connect with us today to explore how our expertise can propel your initiatives forward.