Modern businesses can access a huge range of efficiency boosts if they implement Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. They help to integrate all the disparate business operations under a single digital roof, based around a single database. When implemented properly, an ERP can save a huge amount of time and money – but it is common for implementation to be done incorrectly.
In this post, you will discover the most common implementation errors.
15 Common Mistakes With ERP Implementation
1. Failure to incorporate data analytics and automation
ERP systems can drive themselves with automation that replaces many slow manual processes. They can also capture and utilise customer and supplier behaviour with data-driven analytics. With these tools, you can craft an end-to-end supply chain that drives revenue and removes inefficiencies, but many businesses fail to take full advantage of them.
2. Too much customisation
ERP customisations can be very helpful, particularly for more niche industries. But over-customisation can lead to inefficiencies as standardisation of back-office processes is lost and more complex configurations fail when updates are implemented. If you have a need to be innovative, focus it on initiatives that differentiate your product instead.
3. Too much focus on technology
ERP systems have evolved to a superb point where there are many modules and applications available. This is exciting, but you must always focus on what the people using your system actually need. If you keep implementing modules because they sound great, you may end up with an over-complex system with many things that users don’t need.
4. Failure to match business needs with operational goals
One of the greatest benefits of ERP is the access to automation and governance it provides. But this makes it common to overlook the importance of matching business needs and operational goals. Learn the requirements of different departments and identify what is critical now and what is a future need. Critical needs reflect current processes while future needs revolve around changes in management policies that will facilitate innovation.
5. Viewing ERP as merely an asset management resource
ERP helps manage assets and save on IT costs. But you should be looking to incorporate automation to boost efficiency and stoke innovation by implementing modules in customer-facing operations. Use the data your ERP captures to inform business decisions by using the advanced analytics features and implement modules based on data.
6. Trying to adjust your business to fit the ERP
Too often, businesses choose an ERP and then try to make it a good fit for their business. This means changing the way you operate to work for the ERP. The better approach is to start with a strong understanding of your business and find an ERP that is the best fit. If you can find a solution that requires minimal ERP customisation and minimal changes to the way you operate, you can get maximum benefit.
7. Not taking opportunities to optimise business processes
An ERP implementation provides opportunities to re-engineer certain business processes as you build. When inefficiencies are identified, the ERP may contain tools that help you become more efficient. An ERP is a substantial IT investment, so leverage it to boost efficiency at every opportunity.
8. Becoming over-dependent on the ERP
Organisations sometimes default to over-reliance on their ERP system. In this scenario, everything can grind to a halt if systems go down or connections are lost. These situations happen, so it is important to be able to continue moving forward when problems arise with the ERP.
9. Allowing yourself to be pulled away from core functionality
ERP systems are supposed to solve problems, but trying to do too many things at once can actually lead to more of them. Avoid adding new tasks into your employees’ workload that are not high-priority. Start by identifying key problems that the implementation is to solve then stay focused on those priorities.
10. Not identifying workflow processes for individual departments
Workflows are crucial to ERP functions so you need to ensure the workflows of all departments are identified. The processes of each division need to be successfully incorporated into the overall workflow, otherwise, the ERP will not serve its true purpose.
11. Overlooking data governance
This one is a huge pitfall. Mission-critical reports all need to be covered by your ERP, including financial reports, budgets, inventory data and more. These reports must be accurate and relevant, so ensure you do your due diligence in testing and governing ERP data.
12. Underestimating the time and resources needed for implementation
A successful implementation takes time and resources and must not be underestimated. Sadly, this is a mistake that is all too common. Seek help getting an accurate estimate of the time and money you will need to make the ERP implementation work for you. This is a large undertaking and you need to be fully prepared for it.
13. Leaving end-users out of the decision-making process
Many businesses emphasise the leadership team when making ERP decisions. But it is employees that will be using the new system the most. Stakeholders from all areas of the organisation need to be involved, not just leadership. This ensures everyone plays a role in implementing an ERP system that works for the entire organisation. It’s important to build an ERP Implementation Team with employees from all over the business.
14. Trying to implement everything at once
Reduce delays in the implementation by focusing on one task at a time. It may seem counterintuitive to take a slower approach to achieve faster implementation, but doing everything at once can lead to a lot of wasted time. Start with the most important features of the business and plan everything very carefully to bring about a smooth, gradual implementation.
There are various ways to implement ERP which you can read about in our article Popular ERP Implementation Strategies.
15. Keeping redundant software applications in play
One of the goals of your new ERP system is to replace current software applications. So you need to ensure that those old systems are being removed once the new systems are in place. Otherwise, you will be wasting money and undermining the overall effectiveness of the new ERP. It can be helpful to offer adequate training and time for your staff to adapt to the new operations so they don’t feel the need to cling to the old software.
Implementing ERP can be a big undertaking for any business, but by taking note of the common reasons ERP implementation fails or takes longer than anticipated, you should be able to avoid any issues. It’s also important to follow certain ERP implementation steps, from initial research and planning right through to implementation, testing and training
Choosing the right ERP implementation partner is also key. They can help you assess your business needs and design and deliver an ERP that works for your business.
Why choose Eventura as your ERP implementation partner?
Eventura has been providing robust business solutions to countless organisations for over two decades. We are ERP experts and can identify all of your business needs, and deliver a comprehensive ERP solution that works for you.
As Sage 200 Partners and NetSuite Solution Providers, we can help you identify which solution will fit your business needs the best. Our expert team of business analysts, developers, consultants, technicians and support staff can guide you through your entire project, from initial scoping through to implementation and on-going support.
We’re also managed IT service providers meaning we can help you identify your entire IT infrastructure requirements from day one. If you would like to speak to one of our ERP experts to discuss your options or request a free demo, you can request a free call back here.