Even the best ERP users have their fair share of mistakes, but this list is about the deal-breakers, the ones that could cost you a lot of money and time to fix. Part 1 in this series covered 4 problems related to preparation. In Part 2, we will look at 5 implementation pitfalls.
5. Not having the right people on the team from the start – Who are the key people who make your business successful? Think beyond just the executives. Who actually get the job done? Those people need to be included in your ERP implementation. Some companies rely too heavily on IT without consulting other departments. A good implementation team has representatives from all key departments and stakeholders.
6. Not setting priorities – Not every issue will break your ERP system, so focus on fixing the ones that will first. Also, try not to overload the people involved with too many tasks. Most of them will still have to do their normal jobs in addition to any extra work your ERP setup requires. Establish a good priority system and stick to it.
7. Not investing in training and change management – After you have your ERP system installed and ready to go, you might be tempted to think you are at the finish line. The truth is: having ERP software that no one knows how to use is tantamount to not having an ERP system at all. You must have
8. Underestimating the importance of accurate data – Have you ever played the game “telephone” where one person whispers something into the ear of the person next to him, and then that person passes it along until the person at the end announces something completely different than the original statement? ERP with bad data is kind of like that. Do not think that you can get by with sloppy programming or data input in the beginning and somehow magically fix it later on. It will spread throughout the organization and force you to live with years of workarounds. Start clean and fresh if you have to, but make sure your data is accurate.
9. Taking the kitchen sink approach – ERP, enterprise resource planning software is not intended to completely take on the responsibility of running your business. If it were, it would be called something different like “business automation software”, and companies would lay off most of their employees. The truth is, like any technology, ERP is a tool that should be integrated within your business process, not take the place of it.