5 ERP Implementation Mistakes to Avoid
Here are five key missteps that all companies should work to avoid on the path to a successful enterprise resource planning implementation.
Like any technology implementation, enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions can present an array of challenges for organizations that are adopting and using them. And unlike point solutions that may touch just some parts of a company’s operations, ERP’s all-encompassing nature means it can run—and, impact—nearly all corners of an operation.
For this and other reasons, it’s important to understand some of the key missteps that companies tend to make when implementing ERP—and how to avoid them. Here are five common challenges to watch out for:
1. Not selecting an ERP that’s been tested in your industry. Ask around and find out what other companies in your industry and of a similar size and structure are using before you buy. This is important because the ERP vendor may say that the solution meets your needs, but getting that information right from a current customer’s mouth is much more believable and useful. The ERP itself needn’t be built for your industry, but it should be able to flex, conform to and support it. If it doesn’t, keep looking.
2. Working with the wrong implementation partner. An implementation partner like CEBA Solutions will serve as your guiding light throughout the ERP implementation process, the go live and the post-go live phases. When selecting your partner, look for one that has experience in your industry, can produce a list of referrals, knows what can go wrong with an implementation (and how to avoid or fix those issues quickly), and provides the customizations, integrations and best practices you need to get your ERP implementation over the finish line (and beyond).
3. Over-customizing your new ERP. Cloud-based ERPs like NetSuite offer a full range of functionalities out of the box, so talk to your implementation partner before diving into too many customizations or company-specific requirements. In many cases, CEBA can suggest native NetSuite functionalities that will suit your needs perfectly, and without the added time or expense of customizations. Too many customizations can also create issues after implementation. For example, upgrades may be difficult and/or expensive to manage since the computer code will have to be rewritten to support newer software versions.
4. Business needs and operational goals that are out of alignment. The main benefit of implementing an ERP is typically around automation and governance, making it easy to overlook the value of identifying alignment with business needs and operational goals. “Take the time to gather requirements across departments and identify critical versus future-state,” BigCommerce’s Chris Shalchi points out in Forbes. “The critical reflects your current process while future-state requires change management policy to allow innovation.”
5. A lack of executive buy-in. Without the commitment of business leaders, no one else in the organization will be committed either. That’s because executive management has the power to allocate resources to the ERP project and also reallocate those resources—including people—as conditions change. “ERP implementation is an enterprise wide task,” ERP Focus points out. “It cannot be seen as information services or manufacturing only so executives from all departments must commit to the use of every needed resource.”
Start with a Roadmap
The most successful ERP implementations are designed for specific operations, so start by making a detailed map that includes all of your implementation goals. Then, use this roadmap to guide your successful implementation—from initial partner selection to go-live and beyond.
CEBA Solutions is a long-time Oracle NetSuite Solution Partner that can help your company select, implement and optimize its ERP system and other solutions. We’ll provide as much—or, as little—guidance as you require throughout the process, post go-live and throughout the life of your ERP.