ERP systems help businesses to maintain a competitive edge in an era of technological advancement. But implementing an ERP system is challenging. To overcome this challenge, below are:
- ERP mistakes that IT executives commonly make while choosing, deploying, and implementing an ERP system.
- Suggestions for you to avoid making these mistakes.
Mistake no. 1- Poor planning
Introducing an ERP tool into your current workflow will affect every domain of your organization (including sales, marketing, engineering, finance and accounts, purchasing, and operations). A successful ERP implementation requires strategic planning and careful analysis. But, unfortunately, most enterprises do not implement proper planning, and this results in crashing the ERP projects.
To ensure the ERP systems work smoothly-
- Examine and review all your processes before selecting an ERP system for your organization.
- Plan the implementation techniques for your new ERP system.
- Strategize your priorities and determine which department you want to start with.
Before moving to a new ERP platform, enterprises should involve stakeholders and business analysts from their organizations to identify and implement a scalable and robust solution. It will help you to put the new ERP system into place without any difficulties.
Mistake no. 2- Not choosing a sponsor for your project
Automating your existing business process with an ERP system is essential if you want to grow your business. But many ERP projects result in failed implementation. To simplify your ERP implementation process, you should choose an employee with excellent communication and technical skills who can sponsor your ERP system within the organization.
Roles and responsibilities of the project sponsor should be:
- To manage an entire ERP project internally.
- To implement the entire ERP system.
- To bring other employees on board with the project.
- To consult on any complications within the ERP project.
Mistake no. 3- Not formulating your requirements
Integrating ERP can improve and redesign your entire business process. But most enterprises struggle to find the right ERP solution for their organization, and the reasons are:
- Not evaluating the business requirements properly.
- Not addressing business-critical issues before migrating to a new ERP architecture.
- Failing to map out software usage issues.
To find an ERP system that exactly matches your business needs, you should pay attention to the following:
- Conduct meetings with your team to evaluate your business needs.
- Identify the problem areas in your workflow, like: irregular tracking of sales and orders, improper management, etc.
- Understand your current system architecture and design to find out the best compatible ERP system.
Once you formulate your requirements, it will be easy for you to choose and deploy an ERP solution into your current system.
Mistake no. 4- Getting distracted by features
Too often, enterprises are fascinated by the extended features the ERP offers. And, later on, when the time comes to implement the ERP, they discover that the system lacks some specific functionalities your business needs. Instead of being dazzled by the long matrix features of an ERP, you should consider the solution that addresses your business needs.
To select an ERP solution, you should consider the following:
- Ask your vendor to provide you references of the companies that have used their products or system.
- Call the manufacturers of these companies to discuss the challenges, features, and functionalities of the ERP system.
Mistake no. 5- Not involving end-users while making decisions
Implementation of an ERP process is an important and expensive project for any organization. But, most of the times, while implementing an ERP system, many enterprises devote their time and effort to seeking approval from higher executives. They don’t involve the end-users who will be spending the most time in using the ERP system. It results in deteriorating the implementation process.
To make your ERP implementation project a success, consider the following:
- You should involve key employees in the decision-making process from the beginning.
- Apart from gaining the executive’s sign-off, engage stakeholders from your organization to discuss the requirements that fit your business.
Involving key employees and stakeholders from the beginning will ensure everyone is investing in identifying and implementing the right ERP solution for the organization. It will help you to streamline the implementation process smoothly.
Mistake no. 6- Not analyzing the pros and cons of custom ERP and pre-packaged ERP
Before deciding between a custom ERP and pre-packaged ERP (cloud based), enterprises should evaluate their pros and cons according to their business needs.
To understand the difference between a custom ERP and pre-packaged ERP, read the following:
1. It is developed at your own premises based on your company’s experience.
2. It is suitable for enterprises who want to host and deploy ERP solutions on their own servers.
3. It requires a dedicated staff, compatible in-house hardware, and dedicated servers.
1. It comes with pre-built features that have been verified and validated before the software is made available to the public.
2. It mostly comes as a SaaS subscription on a monthly basis and assists the employees who work remotely.
3. It requires a strong internet connection and subscription-based payments.
A SaaS (Software as a Service) platform for your ERP implementation might be a good solution for you if:
- You are facing difficulties in implementing ERP.
- You are struggling to support your previous ERP investments.
- You don’t have compatible hardware or dedicated servers.
But if your organization has unique industry-specific requirements, then you should go for a custom ERP solution. In pre-packaged SaaS ERP solutions, businesses are forced to adopt the workflows and processes according to the ERP software. It will not allow you to customize the software as per your needs.
Mistake no. 7- Not following the right methodology
Choosing, deploying, and implementing an ERP system is complex. And if you try to do everything at once, your project will take a longer time to go live. To minimize delay, you should follow an agile approach instead of the waterfall model. Let’s understand the difference between waterfall and agile methodology (while developing software).
Difference between waterfall and agile methodology
1. In this, the development team moves to the next phase only when the previous phase is completed.
2. High possibilities of errors to be found later, as testing starts once the development process is complete.
3. Difficult to make changes in previous phases.
- In this, there is a continuous iteration of development and testing activities.
2. Reduces the risk in the development process, as developing and testing processes are carried simultaneously.
3. It is based on incremental progress, hence, changes can be done concurrently.
Using an agile approach while implementing an ERP system helps you to find and analyze the requirements at every step. Whereas, in the waterfall methodology, business analysts outline the requirements of the project in the beginning only.
Other tips to improve your ERP implementation:
- Provide adequate training for your employees to make them comfortable with the new ERP system.
- Focus on quality testing for your ERP to optimize the speed and performance of your new system.
- Provide precise and accurate data to your ERP system to minimize errors in the future.
- Formulate a proper maintenance plan (for example, scheduling preventive maintenance tasks) to increase the productivity of your ERP solution.