Implementing ERP systems is not quite as easy as you might think (or hope) it will be. In fact, there are several major problems that you could potentially run into. To keep you from running into these common problems, here’s a quick look at what they are, as well as what you can do to avoid them.
Offering Inadequate Support for Your Implementation Team
Now that your ERP system selection team has completed the long, tedious process of choosing the best ERP system for your business, it’s easy to assume that they can go back to business as usual. After all, you’ve probably already had to reassign some of their responsibilities while they worked on reaching a decision. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is putting everything back on their plate immediately. Keep in mind that the ERP implementation process is just as difficult and time-consuming. Continue to reassign their duties until the implementation is successfully completed. It could be the difference between a successful implementation and failure.
Implementing an ERP system is not something you can simply wing. It requires plenty of planning to prevent confusion and other problems down the road. This is why it is a good idea to take full advantage of the information and tips offered by your vendor. They can help you plan the entire implementation process to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible.
Not Dedicating Enough Time to Training
Everyone needs to know how to work with the new ERP system. Some employees will have a more difficult time adapting to it than others. Allow them extra time to train. Rushing them could lead to severe mistakes, leaving the employee unmotivated to continue. Ideally, you should be sure to start training your employees well before the rollout for the best results. This should be done as part of your organizational change management strategy.
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Choosing the Wrong Time to Implement
Back in 1999, Hershey choose to implement their system during Halloween, which is definitely one of their busiest times of year. Unfortunately, there were a series of mishaps involving several different ERP system applications. As a result, $100 million worth of Hershey Kisses went undelivered, leading to an 8% decrease in their stock value . There is a lesson to be learned from their mistake. ERP failures like this one provide useful lessons to make.
Implementing the Entire System at Once
While it may seem like a good idea to make the entire switch at the same time, the implementation process tends to be much more successful when it is done in small steps or different stages. This ensures data is transferred properly, while also not overwhelming your employees who will be using the system day after day. This also allows for sufficient testing to ensure everything is working smoothly.
Failing to Take Advantage of Key Features
You would be surprised how many businesses do not take the time to learn everything their system has to offer. To get the highest ROI it is important to take advantage of these features during the implementation process. This gives you the opportunity to ask the vendor any questions you may have. Create a list of the key features, as well as how often they are used, to determine which ones are most often used and most efficient. This will also allow to focus on these features when training new employees.
Failing to Perform Formal Testing
Anytime a new software solution is implemented without formal testing; there is a huge potential for failure right from the beginning. Testing during the rollout phase is crucial for identifying and fixing incomplete applications, permission errors, possible security vulnerabilities, and broken links.
Don’t assume that just because you have decided on an ERP system that the hard part is over. The implementation process should be taken just as seriously. To learn more about how to make your ERP implementation successful, download our free “Expert’s Guide to ERP Success” eBook.