Top 10 ERP mistakes and how to avoid them
Implementing an ERP system is a game-changer for organisations. It promises to improve productivity, streamline workflow, reduce costs and maximise the bottom line, but how many horror stories have you heard about projects running over time or budget or, worse still, failing completely?
There are numerous failures out there and if you’re the person running the project it can be somewhat career limiting.
It all sounds like doom and gloom, but not if the project is a success. Not if you are the hero who lead the project team through a well-planned and well-implemented project which delivered the expected ROI.
So how can you become that hero? Avoid the following top 10 erp mistakes and heed the advice of how to overcome the challenges and complexities of an ERP implementation:
Top 10 ERP Mistakes
1. Be unrealistic in your planning
Planning is key to the success of any ERP project. Companies often underestimate the time and resources required to implement a new solution.
Conduct an internal audit of processes as it highlights areas where the new solution can be used to achieve maximum impact and work with a good third-party implementation partner to design and deploy your new ERP solution. They will be worth their weight in gold.
2. Don’t undertake active load testing
The durability and robustness of your ERP solution can only be assessed with active load testing based on real-world projections and simulations. It cannot be properly tested by a small set of users.
3. Don’t work collaboratively
When it comes to introducing a new ERP solution, buy-in is needed from all departments and at all levels of the organisation, not just from key players and executives who are instrumental in rolling out the project.
Along with a dedicated project manager, these key participants can clarify where change is needed and emphasise the objectives of implementing ERP.
4. Don’t roll out pilot programmes
Pilot programmes should be undertaken for each ongoing phase of an implementation, not just the initial deployment. They will contribute valuable information for testing and allow employees to input into the design
5. Don’t train your workforce
The quickest way to get everyone using the system is to make training situational or role specific. Training should begin by getting your staff to perform a few live simulations and manipulating the data.
Training should then delve deeper into the features contained in the ERP solution.
6. Don’t factor in compliance issues
An ERP solution should be used to help you adhere to industry regulations and other legislation. Review the areas where compliance is required within the industry and then put a framework together.
7. Don’t review your data sources
An ERP solution is only as good as the data it contains. It will reveal information gaps and help you pinpoint the data that you really need to successfully run your organisation.
8. Don’t look at your legacy systems
The only systems left in place should be ones that work in tandem or complement your new ERP solution.
The cost of maintaining legacy assets in terms of support and upgrades will cut into margins and delay ROI on the new solution.
9. Don’t devise a maintenance strategy
Implementation planning should include maintaining and improving the solution after deployment. Preventative maintenance helps you to take full advantage of your ERP solution and maximise your investment.
10. Don’t choose the right ERP vendor
Many organisations don’t have the in-house capabilities to properly evaluate and design ERP solutions.
Working with a third-party provider with experience of implementing ERP solutions for companies in your industry is advisable. They will already be familiar with the challenges that your specific business faces and will have the skills and knowledge to adapt a solution to suit your organisation’s needs.
Posted on Friday, November 4, 2016