The modern ERP system provides organizations with the tools necessary to optimize business processes, streamline manufacturing and distribution, and much more. With all the benefits associated to be reaped from ERP come a significant number of difficulties as well. However, proper implementation and preparedness can steer you clear of these pitfalls. Below we’ve assembled a list of the biggest mistakes IT teams make when implementing an ERP system, and what you can do to avoid them.
Underestimating Implementation Time
Maybe its wishful thinking on their part, but nearly every organization vastly underestimates the amount of time and resources required to implement an ERP system. You may be looking for a more accurate way to determine the amount of time needed for implementation. James Mallory, marketing director for e2b Teknologies recommends dividing the cost of the ERP software by 100. As an example, if the costs $20,000, 200 hours of work will be needing for implementation. If you plan to self implement, you should double that number. Mallory also recommends assigning a dedicated project manager to the project as well.
The best path to take isn’t always the easiest. Often, ERP implementations fail to meet customer requirements because the requirements themselves aren’t fully understood at the beginning of the project. This results in the implementation team attempting to fully customize the solution for the customer. This can increase the cost of implementation and impacts the schedule while heavily affecting the core functions of the original solution. While selecting the right ERP system is always the best method, tweaking the system with a steady hand can be another handy method.
Not Investing in Training and Change Management
One of the most common reasons for ERP project failure is a lack of understanding among employees as to how the software actually works. This leads to slow adoption, or worse, a strong rejection of the project as a whole. It’s crucial to ensure that employees are well acquainted with the program before going live. If users aren’t comfortable with the software before using it, and if there is a significant lack of communication, organizations are almost preparing to fail.
Ignoring Third Party Support Alternatives
Most companies insist on premium vendor support, even though that maintenance rates are at an all time high and they can get the same level of service from a third party support provider. Companies should explore all options for support ranging from hybrid support providers that work directly with their vendor to deliver service as well as providers that work independently of their vendors partner program. A third party support alternative can easily reduce support costs by 20 to 50 percent.
Inadequate Load Testing
It’s an impossible task to test the durability of an enterprise solution using a small set of users. This testing requires active load testing based on real world testing based on real-world projections and simulations. Settling on anything less than this will most likely result in unnecessary downtime and high resistance to change. Change to the solution should be tested in a similar way to determine impact and potential unknown issues.
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