More often than not, ERP projects are considered a one-off project instead of an ongoing improvement plan. It is true that installing or upgrading an ERP system is a very involved and lengthy process and it can be easy to feel some sense of relief when the system is up and running. However, a project can still fail even after a successful implementation. Most times there are a few common mistakes we see that attribute to the lack of success an organization may have with their system, whether it be in the implementation stage or after that point.
- No plan for ongoing improvements after implementation. It is common in the Manufacturing space to have a plan for improvement within the organization. In an attempt to minimize defects and improve quality, many manufacturers are adopting approaches such as Lean Manufacturing or Six Sigma. Unfortunately, not all ERP companies or Consultants adopt the belief in continuous improvement plans for their customers. Manufacturers need to require their IT partners not only to present a plan for the implementation, but a plan for how the organization can maximize their investment. Trying to squeeze everything into the implementation stage will only burden the customer and cause them headaches. When an organization and the Consultant work together and understand how to maximize an ERP system over a period of time vs. a shot-gun approach, the business benefits are maximized.
- Only focus on the software. If the Solution Provider solely focuses on the software and not on the effectiveness the solution can provide your organization, they might be causing more harm than good. Processes, systems, and people need to be aligned in order for operations to run smooth. It is important for your organization to work closely with the solution provider so that the focus is on the outcome that you need, not just on the software installation.
- Go live means the end. Typically when an organization undergoes a new ERP project, it is tied to a business outcome they are looking to accomplish. A Consultant is committing a sin if they declare the project over right after the software “goes live”. It is important to make sure that your business needs are met and that there is a plan to revisit these goals over time. It helps if you start with a written project plan outlining the goals from the start, as well as detailing milestones, and a post-live plan. A successful installation should be tied to meeting all the goals and milestones, as well as achieving the business outcome you originally set out to hit.
Manufacturers need to understand not only what leads to a successful ERP implementation, but also by understanding how letting these mistakes happen within your organization can cause your implementation to be a failure. Manufacturers need to approach their ERP projects with the same methodology they do with their Manufacturing processes. It is also important they choose their Solution Provider carefully. 2W Tech is proud to be a Certified Epicor Partner, specializing in solutions for the Manufacturing Industry.