In Part o of our conversion series, the necessary preparatory steps to ensure a seamless conversion to a new management software were outlined. Now, the actual data import can take place. This following describes the events that take place on "Conversion Day".
Ensure everyone in your organization knows when the conversion is scheduled. Typically this will not take more than one day. Depending on your current software, your new management platform may require a data file from your local computer. If you are currently using a web-based program, it may be as simple as logging in and gathering data directly from your software. Be sure you and your managers know what will be required of you on the day of conversion so that everyone is prepared.
Typically, a fresh set of unit and customer data is gathered the morning of Conversion Day, so remember any changes made in your old software after this will not be reflected in the new system. Keep a list of payments, move-ins and other changes made throughout the day so you can enter these once your new management software is set up.
Even though you have [hopefully] informed your customers of the switch, it is a good idea to make absolutely sure that your current customers are informed of any changes they will notice on their end. This includes changes on how to make online payments or if they will need to update their auto-pay information. Double checking that all customers are informed of these changes will avoid confusion down the road.
Once your data has been brought into your new system and you have login access, verify that your customer data matches your old system. Look at customer balances, paid-through dates and unit inventory. Verify your gate integration is working and your credit card and bank draft processing is active.
Check with your team and confirm everyone knows how to log in to the new software and has a general sense of comfort in their new environment. Some remedial training may be required for daily operations.
Although there is a bit of effort initially involved in making the switch to a new management software, rest assured that it will be well worth it if you have found one that works for you. By this point, the hard part is over and you are well on your way to exploring all that your new management software has to offer. Stay tuned for future articles about software conversion.