Overcoming the Challenges and Pitfalls Associated with Implementing an ERP System

If you’re the CFO or IT Director then you might feel that there are too many ERP solutions to choose from for your organization’s specific needs.  Whether it’s an onsite or a cloud-based SAAS solution, it’s easy for senior managers and process owners to get overwhelmed by the abundance of features and functions.

Enterprise Resource Planning tools have come a long way since the 90’s when Gartner first used the term and the 60’s when it first applied to inventory management and control in the manufacturing sectors. Modern ERP solutions go beyond these earlier offerings and come equipped with advanced business intelligence tools, customizable dashboard reporting for insightful analysis, real-time data access, sales force automation (SFA), ecommerce, integrated inventory and quality control that can improve an organization’s ability to react to fast-changing events.

If there is one thing that most executives can agree on, they have all made their fair share of mistakes in the selection, deployment or implementation phases of an ERP system, many that have proven to be costly. In no specific order, here are some of the challenges and pitfalls that they face

• Insufficient analysis of an organization’s specific requirements. Look for features that give you an advantage and are unique to your industry.
• Unrealistic deadlines and a lack of resources. Is your team motivated to switch ERP solutions/is there sufficient buy-in? A successful implementation requires securing the appropriate
resources and sufficient testing.
• Training, training and more training. Your staff needs to be trained in order to avoid failing and to deal with any suppressed feeling of resentment or the project will be doomed from the start.
• Inadequate vetting of potential vendors. Most companies don’t have the time to review enough vendors and everything that they have to offer. Careful consideration of multiple vendors (more
than 1 or 2) and evaluating their solutions features reduces the risk of making a poor decision.
• Confusing short-term costs before looking at the long-term benefits: price is only one factor to consider in the final selection of a provider. Premature price comparisons early in the process
might neglect how a new ERP could business process improvements in the long terms. Consider factors beyond costs

In order to best avoid the pitfalls of an ERP implementation, a full review of business processes is necessary.  A company that is thoroughly briefed and prepared will be able to realize the full value and benefit from any efficiencies of a new ERP solution before it meets with potential solution providers.

Summary: Don’t let the pitfalls of selecting a new ERP solution make you stall taking a decision.