Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software can offer a lot of value and utility for your business. However, implementation can come with a number of mistakes and missteps. At best, these can cost you time and money. At worst, it can leave you with an ERP system that doesn’t support your needs and requirements. We have identified some of the most common errors and mistakes, as well as how to avoid making them in the first place.
Failure to Define Requirements
One of the most common issues is investing in an ERP system without first drilling down into your own requirements. This can leave you with an ERP software suite that offers limited benefits, or no benefits at all. Realize that you often cannot simply automate existing business processes. Instead, you need to understand the requirements within those processes and then improve them so that you can actually improve whatever it is that you’re trying to automate.
Lack of Change Management
Every ERP implementation involves change at myriad levels within your organization. Failure to realize this and the need for active change management can lead to any number of problems. For instance, without change management, you could fail to realize that key stakeholders will need training on how to use the new tools being made available. Without knowledge of how to use the features of your new ERP system, your business will see limited benefits. Change must be managed for people within your organization, within processes being automated, and within the technology your organizations utilize.
No Long-Term Care
ERP software requires ongoing maintenance, just like any other type of software. In addition to things like upgrades, patches, and updates, you also have other maintenance requirements, such as aligning workers with process requirement, and introducing new features to the ERP system so that it doesn’t become outdated. Too many enterprises go through the investment and implementation process only to drop the ball when it comes to long-term maintenance and planning for the future.
Too Much at One Time
We get it. You want to implement once and be done with it. You want to get things back to business as usual and avoid any further disruptions. That can lead to a headlong rush to implement everything at one time, which is a huge mistake. Even a relatively basic ERP system is incredibly complex, with a lot of moving parts. It’s impossible to determine all requirements for a successful implementation in the beginning. Instead, you need to take a measured approach and follow a segmented implementation plan that allows requirement identification as you go.
Being Sold on a List of Features
Sure, features are important. They allow you to utilize an ERP suite and grow your business. However, understand that the platform with the longest list of features is not necessarily the best purchase for your organization. You also need to consider other things. For instance, how flexible is the software? How scalable is it against future needs? What is the platform’s history like? How well does it integrate with your other required applications?
Choosing the Wrong Type
Finally, too many business owners and decision makers leap straight to either an on-premises ERP or a cloud-based ERP without really evaluating the benefits of each. Does your organization have excellent Internet connectivity? Do you need the flexibility of subscription-style billing? If so, cloud-based solutions might work best. However, on-premises ERP software can also offer security and is well-suited for organizations with a full IT staff on hand. Compare both options before deciding which is right for you.
These are just a few of the mistakes and missteps that can occur when choosing and implementing an ERP system.
Avoid Mistakes. Contact GCG for ERP Implementation
Global Consulting Group (GCG) provides agnostic ERP consulting, software solutions and staffing. GCG’s ERP experts will help guide you through the critical steps in evaluating your strategy, requirements, and potential ERP vendors, Call us at 877-708-8900 or email us to get started.