Editor's Note: This post was originally published in October 2014 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
If your business is growing and you’ve been looking into a new business management software system, you’ve run across enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Now that they’re widely available for businesses of all sizes, they’re something you should strongly consider.
There are several types and brands of ERP software, and choosing the right one for your business is an important journey in and of itself. The biggest journey, however, is the one that happens after you’ve chosen your product: implementation. The internet is littered with stories of implementation failures, and there are rumors that there are nearly as many implementation failures as there are successes.
Here are just three of the many reasons that ERP implementations fail:
Choosing the Wrong People
No matter how good your software is, people play the most important role in an ERP implementation. A large majority of the businesses that can boast successful implementations are those that employed an outside consultant to help. In addition, because an ERP implementation is a time-consuming process, you must put a team together to ensure that the project gets the attention it deserves. Obviously, not just any old consultant or any old team members will do – there are many things to consider when choosing the right people. Does the consultant have experience in your industry? Do they get along with your team members? Can your team members work together to make decisions in a decisive, timely manner? Most importantly, is your top level management on board with the change? Your IT team? Are your fellow employees ready to make such a significant change?
A good ERP implementation plan is detailed, specific, and realistic. If you work with a consultant, they’ll be able to help you map out a plan. If you don’t work with a consultant – which we don’t advise – you’ll inevitably make assumptions that underestimate the scope, cost, and amount of change an ERP implementation involves. Plan the implementation team before you put it together, plan the data you’ll need to keep and make a plan to save it, and always plan to use more time and more money than you think you’ll need.
Not Offering Enough Training
At no point in time during an ERP implementation should training not be happening. Training is not an afterthought. The consultant needs to train your team on how to use the system, and then your team needs to train the supervisors, and then the supervisors need to train their employees. You cannot have a successful implementation if your employees can’t do their jobs on the new system. We cannot emphasize this enough – even if you do every other thing right, failing to train your entire work force on a new system is akin to planning for a failed implementation.
ERP implementations are a significant undertaking. You should leave nothing to chance, which means choosing the right people, making and sticking to a realistic plan, and training, training, training.
Want to learn more about making sure your ERP implementation isn’t a failure? Contact Asyma Solutions today.