Four Internal Issues Hurting Your ERP Project
Many ERP projects are set up to fail prior to the implementation. When it comes to evaluating and selecting an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, there are several challenges organizations face internally. Understanding these obstacles and how to avoid them, can be the difference between a successful ERP project and a disastrous one.
- Not having a clear purpose for an ERP system. There are literally hundreds of different ERP solutions currently on the market. Many of these solutions are specialized for certain types of businesses and industries. There are also ERP solutions to manage everything from customer relationships to recruiting and hiring talented employees. There are also solutions that are a better fit for different company sizes. You need to assess which functions are the most important for your needs, ensuring you understand well what your needs are. You need to ask yourself what you hope to get out of implementing an ERP solution? The answer to this question should guide your search for the right system. Failing to have a clear purpose for your ERP can mean ending up with a system that does not cover your company needs and functions.
- Not properly assessing your requirements. Your company is unique in your goals, the way it functions, and its technology needs. No 2 companies are exactly the same. Failing to spend a little time defining and documenting your requirements may mean that your company ends up with an ERP solution that may not perform all the functions you need. There are major differences from one solution to the next, even in a specialized solution category, so just picking any solution from your industry won’t narrow your search down enough. The best way to go about doing this is to create a master list of features and functions included in the type of ERP software packages that interest you and select which of these your company requires and desires. The main advantage of keeping written notes is that you’ll never overlook key functionality that you need and you won’t help but see what solutions are a fit and what aren’t.
- Team doesn’t buy-in to your ERP system. Each and every key employee in your organization needs to be on-board with your ERP system. To properly ensure this, they should be involved in every step of the way, starting with the planning process all the way through until implementation. If this group of people doesn’t believe the ERP system is necessary or that the software you purchased wasn’t the correct one, there is a good chance your implementation will be a failure. One thing to keep in mind is that different groups of stakeholders will generally have different agendas for the new software system. You need to make sure you get their opinions and needs on the table and ensure that feedback weighs into your selection process. Ensuring natural leaders are on board will really help your cause because they can sway others as well.
- Underestimating time and resources needed for project. You may have an ERP project team in place, but the reality is the members of this team still have full time jobs. With the people in charge being so busy even before dumping this ERP project in their laps, they usually are not fully aware of the time required for a proper evaluation and selection. It is not surprising that choosing an ERP often take much longer than planned and ends up taking many more resources than initially planned for. Couple this with the fact that choosing an ERP system is no easy task. There is no one-size fits all when it comes to ERP systems and most systems need to be tailored to your unique characteristics. You need to do the proper due diligence to find the solution that best meets your needs, you can’t or shouldn’t compromise on that.
If you can avoid these internal traps, you will have a higher likelihood of a successful outcome for your ERP project. Sure, it is much easier said than done. But understanding what you are up against going into the project can make all the difference in the world. 2W Tech is a certified Epicor ERP Consultant and has many ERP implementations under our belt. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have about your ERP project.
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