Our years of helping companies of all sizes with ERP and CRM systems have shown us that ERP Implementation is one of the most complicated and time-consuming tasks that you will ever take on. The potential for costly mistakes lurk at every step of the way, so here is a round-up of our advice for how to avoid the most common ERP Implementation mistakes.
1. Insufficient Planning and Preparation
The most important thing to do if you want your ERP implementation project to succeed is to plan, plan, plan. This not only includes thorough task and resource planning for your side of the project, but also an evaluation of your current processes and policies before you even start to choose the ERP system itself. It is also vital to have the right people involved from the outset. If you feel unable to undertake this yourself as a company, you may be better off bringing in an independent, external ERP consultant. They will be able to properly evaluate the available systems as well as how to use them to maximise the business benefits for you.
2. Poor Vetting of ERP Vendors
It is very easy to get swept along with what potential ERP vendors are telling you, only to realise after implementation that the system they have sold you lacks key capabilities you need and has certain restrictions on system functionalities. To prevent this happening to you, always consider how well the software meets the needs of your current processes and anticipated future plans for the business. In addition, ask for three references from previous clients who are in the same business sector as you, so that you can talk together about the product and the level of service provided by the supplier. If the ERP vendor cannot provide three names, we advise you to walk away – unless you are happy to be a guinea pig!
3. Too Much Multitasking
When it comes to ERP implementation, many companies take the “more is more” approach, trying to juggle multiple tasks and switching gears all the time – which actually slows them down. In order to minimise delays and speed up the completion time, your Project Manager should create a priority system which not only states when to do which task, but also prioritises the issues that arise – ensuring that the most important ones are resolved first. This way, tasks and issues can be completed and resolved efficiently and effectively to remove any potential delays.
4. Poor Training and Change Management
One of the most common reasons for poor ERP Implementation is that employers fail to realise the importance of proper training and change management. If employees don’t understand the new system, then it is unlikely that it will become a success. Before the system goes live, you should communicate with employees every step of the way and ensure they receive the training they need to make them comfortable with the system, in order to dramatically improve your chances of ERP success.
5. Poor (or No) Maintenance Strategy
Even if your ERP implementation goes well, if you do not have an effective maintenance strategy in place you are setting yourself up for problems in the future. Not installing updates, for example, may leave you unable to take advantage of new functionality that could benefit your business, or essential legal changes. Updates may also include corrections for technical issues that have been identified. Failing to keep your system up to date may also eventually affect your supplier’s ability to support your ERP system. There is no need to worry about implementing updates these days – the rapid advance of technology means that most people will only experience minimum disruption when applying support packs to their system.
To discover more about how Greenbeam Consulting can help with ERP Implementation, please call us on 0843 523 5630 or email us at [email protected]