5 Common ERP Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

November 11, 2020 | ERP Systems
business process workflow

An enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution’s advantages are numerous, providing benefits for companies of all types and sizes. Successfully implementing an ERP system can result in a streamlined workflow and lower costs across the entire organization. However, companies must plan their purchase and implementation processes, or the results could be disappointing and costly.

To ensure that your ERP implementation goes smoothly and allows you to “hit the ground running,” we have listed five of the most frequent ERP-related mistakes and how to either solve them or avoid them altogether:

  1. Failing to compare options: on-premises vs. cloud-based ERP

Businesses should consider several factors before determining whether an on-premises or a cloud-based ERP solution bests fills their needs. For instance, if your cloud-based system is highly customized, your IT staff may prefer on-premises deployment to have control. However, a heavily customized ERP system is challenging to maintain and could keep your organization stuck in outdated technology. With industry-specific ERP, your system will have all the functionality you need and more, making heavy customizations a thing of the past.

On the other hand, cloud-based ERP allows companies to avoid the large upfront fees and in-house hardware that typically requires an expensive, dedicated IT staff. Smaller businesses can benefit from the subscription-type payments, while most will benefit from SaaS serving a remote workforce’s needs.

Although the cloud has many benefits, some IT departments may prefer on-premises deployment. Do your research to ensure you choose the deployment that works best for the needs of your company.

  1. Not considering change management

According to a 2019 ERP report, organizations that have completed ERP implementations found that the technical facets were less challenging than leading change among their employees. The report explained that the most challenging part of managing change lies in eliminating the barriers that keep employees from using the new ERP software. If workers are not at ease using the new system or were happy with the previous system, any organization has a lesser chance of seeing the benefits that ERP offers.

The organizations that experienced the most success invested heavily in communication and training, ensuring that the ERP solution gained buy-in across the organization. Managing change across three administrative areas—people, processes, and technology—were paramount to faster acceptance and greater success.

  1. Not including end-users in the decision-making process

While organizations need to gain approval from the company’s leaders, it should not be their focus. It is equally, if not more, important to engage those key employees who will be using the ERP system every day. Assembling participants from all departments—IT, finance, purchasing, manufacturing, warehouse, etc.—will engage those employees who will benefit from finding and implementing the most appropriate solution. Involving workers from across the entire organization ensures that everyone is on board from the start, and the implementation process will proceed smoothly.

  1. Not including an industry-specific solution

When choosing an ERP solution, you have a significant decision to make. You can either go with a generic ERP system created as a “one size fits all” solution, or you can select industry-specific ERP software.

Although generic software can be less expensive upfront, industry-specific solutions can be viewed as a long-term investment in your company’s future. They offer all of the same essential features–such as accounting, human resources, and inventory management—as the generic systems. Still, they also add in capabilities that are custom-made for your industry and operational requirements.

  1. Not having a maintenance plan

Implementing an ERP solution can be a time-consuming project. But all of the work is not upfront. After they have successfully deployed the system, companies should immediately organize a maintenance strategy. Workers will then understand what they need to do to maintain and improve the ERP system regularly—both to keep it running smoothly and ensure that it doesn’t become outdated.

An outdated ERP system can make businesses susceptible to security risks and gaps in their processes. Setting up a maintenance plan and assigning responsibility ensures that the ERP system runs at an optimal level and is always up-to-date.

Let us help you avoid common ERP mistakes

Implementing an ERP can be tricky and requires expert insights. Our team at Decision Resources, Inc. has the expertise and experience to ensure your ERP has what it takes to fulfill your company needs and customer expectations. Please get in touch through our website, call 412-562-9660, or email us at info@decision.com

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