Picture this: your company has made a big step in going digital by implementing an ERP system. The anticipation is palpable, expectations are high, and then… reality sets in.

The go-live date has come and gone, but the journey is far from over. Welcome to the world of ERP post-implementation challenges. Post implementation is a crucial time for determining if your ERP investment will be successful.

Let’s dive into the complexities of ERP post-implementation issues and discuss how to navigate this crucial phase effectively.

Understanding ERP Post-Implementation Issues​

Post-implementation is a phase often overshadowed by the hustle and bustle of going live. However, it’s in the aftermath that issues come to light. These problems can be subtle, yet pervasive.

1. Lack of Stability

Stability in the post-implementation phase is like the foundation of a skyscraper – without it, the entire structure is compromised. A stable system is not just about preventing crashes or slowdowns; it’s about ensuring consistent performance that users can rely on.

A proactive approach to system monitoring can preempt issues before they escalate.
Measuring system performance, even when users haven’t reported issues, is an essential task to perform continuously.

For example, a mid-sized manufacturing company we recently worked with noticed that their manufacturing ERP software was running slower than during testing. Before users even complained, the IT team discovered a bottleneck in the data processing workflow.

By proactively optimizing the database performance, they not only prevented user frustration but also improved the overall system efficiency.

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2. Lack of User Adoption

ERP systems are not standalone entities. They exist to be used by people. User adoption is critical, and it begins with that first interaction post-go-live.

Training shouldn’t cease once the system is live; it should evolve. Your training support team must include ERP software experts, business analysts, process specialists, and change management champions.

With one of our retail clients, post-go-live support was restructured to include a diverse team with representatives from IT, business operations, and customer service. When an issue arose regarding order fulfillment discrepancies, the team rapidly pinpointed the problem as a training gap rather than a system error.

3. Unreliable Data​

From incorrect customer information to inconsistent order information between systems, data errors disrupt downstream processes and can lead to significant business consequences.

Early identification and resolution of data issues, along with a thorough data migration strategy, can ensure that decision makers have access to reliable data insights.

An online education provider we worked with found problems in their course enrollment figures post-ERP implementation. They discovered that their assumption during implementation—that advisors would enter all student data before enrollment—was not being followed.

By analyzing the data trends, we were able to identify the need for additional training to ensure accurate enrollment data.

4. Lack of Communication​

Communication post-go-live is as critical as it is during implementation. End-users need to know they’re supported, understand the process for reporting issues, and feel that their feedback is not just heard but acted upon.

A healthcare organization we worked with faced user pushback after ERP go-live as users were unfamiliar with the new processes. By establishing a dedicated communication channel, the organization provided continuous updates, training resources, and a platform for feedback. This open dialogue helped ease the transition and encouraged user buy-in.

5. Lack of Continuous Feedback

Feedback is the lifeblood of improvement. User insights can reveal gaps between expectations and reality, prompting essential improvements.

Regularly capturing and analyzing feedback helps refine the system to better meet user needs and organizational goals.

For example, we helped a logistics company enable truck drivers to provide feedback, and through this feedback, the company discovered that the new ERP system did not optimally display routing information. The support team worked with developers to adjust the interface, leading to enhanced functionality and driver satisfaction.

(Read about Top 10 ERP Failures over the past three decades)

The Path Forward: Continuous Improvement

The goal post-implementation is not to reach a state of ‘no complaints,’ but to engage in continuous improvement. Your ERP system should evolve, adapt, and improve over time.

By anticipating and addressing ERP post-implementation issues, you can ensure your ERP system delivers the intended benefits and supports your business objectives for the long term.

Remember, the journey doesn’t end at go-live; it merely begins a new chapter. With the right ERP implementation consultant, this chapter can lead to a story of success. Contact us below for a free consultation.

About the author

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As Director of Panorama’s Expert Witness Practice, Bill oversees all expert witness engagements. In addition, he concurrently provides oversight on a number of ERP selection and implementation projects for manufacturing, distribution, healthcare, and public sector clients.

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