Implementing a new ERP system holds the promise of improved productivity, streamlined workflow and reduced costs, but also presents new challenges and learning curves. A successful ERP implementation process creates time and money-saving opportunities while leveraging available resources to continue day-to-day operations. Implementing ERP software is a major undertaking potentially wrought with unnecessary hangups and delays for those unprepared.
To see your way to a successful ERP implementation, here are six common implementation mistakes and how you can avoid them.
1. Poor planning
Set your ERP implementation project up for success with thorough planning and requirements gathering. By thoroughly evaluating your internal processes and keeping the planning and preparation a priority, you avoid the risk of ERP implementation mistakes surfacing later.
Implementation can be an exhaustive process requiring numerous steps to be taken and procedures to be followed. Missing a single aspect of your implementations can lead to major setbacks, or worse, set the stage for implementation failure. Ensuring a proper ERP plan is formulated outlining the process for your project will go a long way toward the project’s success.
2. Inaccurate data
You’ve heard it before – junk in, junk out. By starting your technology journey with inaccurate data at the onset, you set your organization up for a number of other problems to follow. At some point, the new ERP platform will need to be fed the necessary historical and current information. It is important that project managers maintain a high standard for clean data which is migrated from the old system throughout your ERP implementation.
It can be a lengthy process, but well worth it. With your new ERP software being only as good as the data within it, analyzing your existing data for accuracy will reveal information gaps and help you pinpoint the data that which needs updating or correcting.
3. Unrealistic expectations
This includes underestimating time frames, costs and not planning for inevitable delays. An ERP platform can’t be installed overnight and there will be downtime while the software is being installed.
Be realistic about what you can achieve in the prescribed timeframes, a methodical approach is the best way to undertake any technology upgrade.
4. Lack of proper comparison of cloud-based vs. on-premise software
Have you looked closely enough at the benefits comparison between on-premise and cloud-deployed ERP platforms? Have you considered a hybrid solution?
On-prem tools require IT teams to maintain system updates and hardware functionality whereas cloud-based ERP requires nothing more than an internet-ready device and an internet connection. A hybrid solution gives you some features and benefits of both, talk to your vendor about how it may work for you.
5. Lack of maintenance strategy
Implementation planning should include maintaining the solution after deployment. If you can’t maintain your ERP software through and beyond implementation, it will fail or become obsolete quicker than you might think. Outdated systems are a security risk along with a host of other problems it’s best to avoid.
Preventative maintenance helps you to take full advantage of your ERP solution and maximize your investment.
6. Lack of training
Businesses overlook the importance of training as it applies to the success of enterprise implementation. You must fully develop and train those members of staff which represent your ERP software end-users. Untrained staff can be the precursor to employees reverting to old processes or creating manual workarounds.
A phased roll-out for training is optimal. The training should follow a methodical approach based on company data which maps the company’s business processes and should be delivered by a product and process expert. The first phase of training should include the project managers and department heads, whereas the second phase of training is introduced to the remaining users prior to the enterprise software launch.
It’s always a good idea to have resources available beyond training to assist existing staff and new hires for ongoing training and onboarding. This may include tutorial videos, advanced training sessions or FAQs accessible via the company intranet.
Implementing ERP systems is one of the most complex and rewarding projects a company can undertake. Avoid these mistakes to ensure a successful ERP implementation.
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