6 reasons why ERP implementations can fail (and how your business can succeed)

An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system can be seen as the technological brain of your business’ operations. With the ability to process huge amounts of information about the daily operations of your business, the ERP system can provide valuable feedback to all areas within the business, as well as providing intelligence on everything from inventory movements, sales and marketing activity, accounting, and more.

Strong ERP systems can help your business win more customers, remain competitive, manage your costs, and improve overall business performance.

When you have decided that you want to implement an ERP system into your business, ensuring the success of the implementation project should be a top priority.

Here are the top reasons why ERP implementations fail, and what you can do to ensure its success.

Know what you want to achieve

Many businesses decide to implement an ERP system like Triumph ERP because they are starting to see operational processes become inefficient and time-consuming, or are struggling to get the accurate, timely data they require.

Before you get started, it is important that you make sure you evaluate the current concerns and strengths you want to your ERP system to focus on. Discuss the implementation with your staff and discuss what is causing the most issues in their day-to-day operations, as well as identifying the recurring issues and the biggest potential time-savers.

Once you have identified the main concerns within your business, relay these issues to your ERP dealer, and discuss how they can help you solve your concerns, and bring improvements to your business needs.

Define your expectations

By discussing the expectations with your team, it will also give you the chance to clarify what is needed from them and what the whole business hopes to gain.

Be realistic with your expectations. Setting the right expectations early is imperative, and opening a dialogue with your staff about the expectations of an ERP project can remind them that they are part of the journey too, helping them build enthusiasm and momentum within the business.

This process will also help you talk to your ERP dealer about what you want to achieve, and establish the responsibilities during the project and make sure everyone knows who will be doing what- even before you get started. Defining your expectations will also assist you in fully understanding what is in or out of the scope, so you are fully aware of the process.

The need for expertise

You may be considering to implement an ERP system yourself to save a few dollars. The reality is that this is a huge risk to take, and is not something any ERP provider would want to see occur.

It is important to understand that different ERPs have different navigation, processes, requirements, and ways to leverage their technical strengths. Reality is, each business is likely to require their own specific processes which may need to be considered during the implementation of the software.

It is important to have an expert like a Triumph ERP dealer help you manage and go through the implementation with you, as this will save you a lot of time, pain, and additional costs in fixing or re-implementing your ERP system in the long run.

Cutting corners

An ERP system isn’t a short-term solution. It can bring forth a better way of managing your business, improving your process efficiencies, and boost all-round business performance- when done right.

Reality is that ERP implementation can take time and resources. This is an investment in which will effectively run your business, so cutting corners during the implementation stage can create huge risks.

Companies wanting to implement an ERP system should consider the time and resources it will take for the implementation process and consider what kind of return they are looking for their investment.

Remember- taking the time in the beginning to implement the system correctly will allow for a well-functioning, all-round system in the future.

Choosing the best solution

Businesses can be as unique and as individual as people. For businesses, there are often unique requirements and processes which have been developed over your business’ lifetime. Requirements such as these need to be considered for the ERP system you decide to implement. As some ERP systems have strengths in a variety of different industries, including Wholesale Distribution, Retail, Engineering, Transport, and Logistics- just to name a few, it is important to make sure that you’re matching the solution to your company’s individual needs.

When you are discussing your ERP needs with your ERP dealer, it is important to ask about the software’s strengths and what type of businesses they deal with the most. Paying close attention to the benefits that the ERP software can offer, and what businesses have experienced from using the same ERP software can help you learn more about the capabilities of the ERP system, and offer further considerations you may have not yet included in your own scope of implementation.

Resistance to change

By involving your staff early on an engaging them in open dialogue about the ERP system you are looking to implement, everyone will be aware of the positive changes coming.

There are some employees who thrive on learning and adapting to change, yet other are more comfortable when they know a process like the back of their hands. Implementing a new ERP system can be a challenge for the latter, as it presents a learning curve and the ability to adapt to more efficient processes and ways of managing the same tasks- however this doesn’t need to be a concern.

It is important that you make sure your staff feel comfortable providing their feedback and are involved in the process. Additionally, you may wish to appoint some of your more adaptable team members as ‘super users’, making them an easy person to answer any quick questions which may arise.

Working with an ERP system dealer who has an experienced ERP support system available to users also reassures everyone that they won’t be left to fend for themselves once the system is in place. Always to make sure that your talk to your ERP dealer about the support they offer.

Conclusion

Careful consideration with a system that will essentially become the brain of your company’s operations is important. There is always so much to consider, however, a little planning can go a long way towards avoiding failure and seeing a successful implementation.

When implementing an ERP system, remember to:

  1. Start the process by clearly defining what you want to achieve from an implementation and set your expectations for the ERP system- both internally and with your ERP provider.
  2. Invest in the expert resources you will need and remember it is a long-term solution for your business which will continue providing benefit to your business well into the future.
  3. Choose the software which is right for your specific needs.
  4. Get your staff involved, and be sure to listen to their feedback. Make sure they feel that they are supported by the ERP dealer who will be there for them after the implementation is completed.