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Here’s How to Build Your Team of Plex Champions

October 23, 2017

The Plex Manufacturing Cloud enables you to dramatically reduce the burden on your IT staff, infuse quality throughout production, and gain an incredible amount of visibility and control. It essentially becomes the technology foundation for transforming your business. But if you really want to get the most out of Plex, it’s a good idea to empower the people in your organization to leverage new and existing functionality that Plex makes available to you for continuous improvement. And for that, you’ll need a team of champions.

Your Plex Champion Team: Who Are They, and What Do They Do?

Behind every successful Plex implementation is a Plex Champion Team. A Plex Champion Team is made up of employees who are willing and able to get hands-on with the platform. They need not be official IT personnel, but they should have enough technical savvy to configure the platform in ways that support your business processes.

Your team’s responsibilities will include:

  • Responding to user issues. Your Champions will be the first points of contact for anything that comes up during day-to-day usage.
  • Creating documentation. Although Plex features a highly-intuitive web interface, your users will need some written assistance in performing routine tasks.
  • Providing training. In addition to documentation, users will need some guidance in completing business processes.
  • Identifying areas for continuous improvement. Here’s where Champions can really provide value. They can keep an eye on how your employees are using the system and find opportunities to help them do more.
  • Defining the future road map for Plex for your company. Which features should your employees use next? Which modules could really benefit you? Your Champion Team will make a plan for this, too.

Building Your Plex Champion Team

As you can see, this team helps you really leverage your Plex investment. Now, how do you actually go about putting this team together?

Here are five simple steps:

  1. Assign each Plex module to a subject matter expert (SME). Make a list of every module your company is using, and then find a hands-on user who can “own” that module.
  2. Establish new security roles for each SME. In other words, use Plex’s role-based security to define a role for SMEs in the system.
  3. Configure Plex so that SMEs will receive notifications for their module. Your SMEs will then know whenever an employee is having an issue with the system.
  4. Create an SME menu to help in diagnosis. Put information resources at your SMEs’ fingertips to help them resolve employee issues quickly and accurately.
  5. Train your SMEs with bi-weekly meetings. Help your SMEs use the Plex Community and refine the process of resolving user issues. 

Establishing Your Problem-Solving Methodology

As we mentioned, your Plex Champion Team members will be the first points of contact for all user issues. How will they respond? Consider having them follow this proven problem-solving methodology:

  1. Understand the issue. Train them to listen well, verify what users are saying, discuss the issue thoroughly, and try to replicate each issue.
  2. Document. SMEs should keep detailed records of every issue, taking screen shots wherever possible. This will help them escalate an issue to other technical resources.
  3. Research. SMEs can use the Plex Community to find solutions. There’s a wealth of information there if you know how to find it.
  4. Test and deploy. Before deploying a solution for all users, SMEs should try it in the test database—and carefully consider the potential impact of deploying it into production.
  5. Escalate. Can’t solve a problem? Your SMEs are the first level of support, then your Champions, and then the Plex Service Cloud.
  6. Closure. SMEs should follow up with the employee who contacted them and make sure the issue has been resolved to their satisfaction.
  7. Create an in-house knowledgebase. In the interest of continual improvement, make sure your SMEs document each issue and its solution for future use by all Plex Champions in your organization.

Patience Is a Virtue—and the Payoff Is Amazing

Developing in-house expertise in the form of a Plex Champion Team won’t happen overnight. But in the long run, it will be worth the investment. You’ll find that you get much more from your Plex investment—and your whole workforce.

For more information about building your team of Plex Champions, visit Revolution Group online

About the Author

Kristin van Duelman ERP Strategy Consultant, Revolution Group

Kirstin is an ERP Strategy Consultant with over 20 years of practical supply chain, lean manufacturing, and engineering plant experience, including over nine years of Plex success. She assists a wide variety of Plex customers with their implementation, optimization, support, and development needs.