Common ERP Implementation Mistakes & Criteria to Avoid Them
Your retail business is booming. New locations. A growing ecommerce presence. And it’s just starting to get a little too decentralized and a bit too siloed to be truly as effective as it could be.
If you’ve decided that an ERP is the answer to these challenges, you already know that the solutions are complex - sometimes too much so, with 50% of decision makers surveyed agreeing that the range of options available made the process even more complicated.
There are a number of common mistakes that companies make when beginning with an ERP. These are the four that can have the biggest repercussions:
Choosing the wrong product: With the almost dizzying number of options available with capabilities to suit just about an need, it’s not surprising that many businesses inadvertently choose the wrong solution and don’t realize until it is too late.
Having a siloed implementation: Though an IT-heavy process, it is not something that can exist and be carried out only by your vendor and implementation-specific team. As the effects of the ERP will be far reaching, it is essential to have commitment and engagement across the board.
Underestimating: Time, resources, people… It’s great to be ambitious and to have a sense of urgency to keep the implementation moving, but it must be balanced with a realistic understanding of what is going to be truly required.
Insufficient ongoing support: part of any implementation is helping your employees to get acclimated to the solution and effective in their usage. If your employees don’t receive adequate support, particularly in those essential early days, it is likely to become an ongoing struggle.
Choosing the right partner can help you to avoid all of these problems, but on the other hand, choosing the wrong partner can multiply them and create more issues than you had pre-implementation. This is especially true when it comes to cloud-based solutions that require ongoing maintenance and support on the side of the vendor to assure its ongoing functionality.
When you are evaluating potential vendors and deciding who you would like to have a demonstration with, there are a number of criteria on which to judge.
Implementation experience: At least two years of experience and certifications in implementation of that solution are a good place to start. It goes without saying that there is no substitute for experience and it can be invaluable when it comes to avoiding missteps or problems down the line. Having local or regional understanding can also be extremely helpful in a number of cases. If you are considering a Microsoft solution, make sure that your potential vendor is Gold certified to be sure that they have obtained the highest levels of training and practical experience.
Industry experience: Consider the needs of a company that builds medical devices versus those of a speciality grocery chain. Just about every part of their business is different, so the capabilities that they’ll be needing from their ERP will be quite different. Subsequently, the vendor having experience in these particular industries and tools can make a huge difference in the overall progress of your implementation.
Communication: Sometimes we all get so wrapped up in numbers and goals that we forget that there is a very human side to the whole process. By having someone that you can maintain an open line of communication with and also trust that they’re on your side and in it with you, you not only make the process easier but you’ll feel better about it too.
Choosing an ERP and a partner for your implementation can be tricky - but the final results will make the effort up front well worth it (because who likes reworking?). This is especially true when it comes to your employee experience and ongoing support; so make sure you choose a provider with the right background and that is willing to have open lines of communication throughout the process.
Wondering if we could be the right people to help you get started on your ERP path? Or just want an honest opinion of if an ERP is the right solution for you? Let us help! Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you make your way to operational efficiency.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Systems Limited, or any other entity related to Systems Limited.