Implementing a new ERP solution is a time of real change for your company. It can be a massive success, being seen as the key factor in new growth, improved efficiency and greater profits . . . or you can fall into these common mistakes that can increase the chances of the project struggling to get off the ground. Implementation failure, here are 5 mistakes of ERP buyers.
1. Not considering what an ERP consulting partner brings to the table
Like any other business partner, the right people are key. You want someone to get to know your business, look through your process maps and understand your system from quote to shipment and from tracking to payment. Do they understand your business and how the pieces fit together? Can they automate processes? Can they integrate third party solutions to add functionality?
A good consulting partner is going to integrate themselves into your business, get their hands dirty and really make sure they understand your needs, help you solve issues you may not have known you had or that were solvable with software.
2. Not looking to the future and the growth potential of the software
A good, successful ERP implementations process can be long, sometimes difficult and can consume a lot of resources.
You need to look beyond todays needs and consider what you will need as your business grows and experiences change. Does the software provide the ability to customize and integrate 3rd party solutions? What solutions are currently available? How does this fit into your growth strategy? You don’t want to be looking for ERP software again in two years when you find out the software can’t grow with you or meet your evolving needs.
3. No corporate buy-in or departmental support
Without proper buy-in and support from corporate and key teams and departments within your company, an ERP implementation can crash and burn before it’s even begun.
The size and complexity of the change to your corporate culture can be difficult to bounce back from if no one knows what to expect. Without the input of power users from select teams and departments the solution you choose may not meet their needs at worst and at best they may not care.
If for instance sales doesn’t want to implement because they were never shown the value of the tools and insights they can gain about trends and client buying behaviors, or customer service doesn’t see how they are able to shave minutes off of documentation times, and corporate hasn’t seen the availability of actionable data right at their fingertips. You don’ want your system to become a very expensive waste of time.
4. Focus on ease of implementation
It’s nice when things are easy, but hard work brings better results. If you have an ERP implementation success goal you’re going to have to work for it. ERP solutions cover many complex systems from accounting, sales and purchasing to CRM, inventory management and HR.
5. Putting too much emphasis on cost-to-complete
If you’re thinking about the price, you’re not alone. We’re all looking to keep expenses down, but you may not be thinking about the bigger picture. What are annual maintenance fees? How will the software help us generate revenue? Is the ERP scalable for a growing business? Will I be able to integrate with my legacy system? Can we meet our compliance requirements?
The right ERP and ERP partner for your business may not come with the lowest price tag, but they will be able to help you solve efficiency issues that can allow you to reduce manpower, meet and exceed security and compliance requirements, and give management the data to make decisions that will drive profitability in the future.
It takes careful planning, time and effort to put in place the system that will hold and manage every piece of valuable information about your organization and that’s a worthwhile investment.