You can rest assured knowing that in the world of ERP implementation, others have gone before you and have, unfortunately for them, sweated through lots of avoidable yet common problems during their ERP experience. Today, there’s absolutely no reason for you to repeat mistakes of past ERP implementations gone bad. Here is a look at a handful of common issues that you can easily avoid during your ERP implementation.
#1: Common Problem: You’re not compatible
How to avoid the problem: Do your due diligence
The art, and science, of choosing just the right ERP software solution that has just the right application functionality to meet your company’s requirements is doable – if you do your homework before signing on the dotted line. Take the time to do some deep fact-finding to identify not only your company’s current business needs and foreseeable needs, but also the vendor’s capabilities and ERP solutions offered. Selecting an ERP solution that is lacking in application functionality is just as costly, stressful & frustrating as choosing one that has more application functionality than you will ever need. If you don’t need bells and whistles, don’t be swayed into investing in them; if you need more than just the basics to survive and thrive, demand that. Too little functionality leaves you having to invest more time and money, and too much adds unnecessary costs, complexity, and confusion to the mix. Once you truly understand, identify and list what your business requires today and in the future, then you can start exploring your options for compatible partners in the vast sea of hundreds of ERP solutions available.
#2: Common Problem: There’s no one at the helm
How to avoid the problem: Appoint a designated driver
While ERP implementation is a big deal, a time-consuming and a potentially-complicated process, you can make it a much more streamlined and stress-free one if you have an exceptional, respected, and awesome leader at the helm. The ERP process often involves what most people dread and resist: change. To successfully implement the necessary changes to your company-wide processes and practices, you need executive leadership at the helm to hold the compass, provide direction, and identify (and resolve) any potentially-problematic disputes or issues before they escalate. Your chosen project leader must have ultimate authority over the entire ERP implementation team and be able to not only formulate a strong implementation plan, but also sustain a strong sense of employee engagement throughout the whole process.
#3: Common Problem: Everyone’s crabby and starving for sustenance
How to avoid the problem: Teach your team how to fish
With ERP implementation comes change. Although that’s a given, many companies don’t plan ahead and involve, engage, and nurture their staff until the whole system has been installed. Teach your team how to fish so that they can confidently and calmly revisit the sea filled with all those new processes and procedures whenever they need to – and not have to wait for you or your team leader to fix the particular issue or glitch they may be experiencing. Staff training must commence long before the implementation process begins.
#4: Common Problem: The numbers don’t add up
How to avoid the problem: Measure twice, cut once
It is no secret that many companies implementing an ERP software solution find that the initial budget (and timeframe) they established was apparently not written in stone by the vendor. While it’s understandable that there may arise some previously-unexpected stumbling blocks along the journey of ERP implementation, you don’t want to be blindsided by extravagant unexpected additional costs or ridiculously extended “go live” schedules. Simply plan ahead. Surreptitiously add in a 25 percent cushion to your budget – without letting your vendor know you’ve done so; in addition, also secretly plan on the implementation process taking 90 days more than what the vendor has calculated. If you do this ahead of time, you will save yourself undue stress, anxiety, and frustration and your team will continue to look at you as their calm, capable, and confident leader.
#5: Common Problem: Not everyone got an invitation to the party
How to avoid the problem: Invite your whole team
The absolute best way to ensure the most success from your ERP implementation is to involve the entire corporation in the integration of the software from the initial onset, through to launching live, and on to providing ongoing training. Segregation never works, including at a company trying to implement a company-wide program but choosing to separate all the departments as if they functioned in totally separate silos. The implementation team needs to work with all the users from all the business sectors at your company as a whole, as an open and collaborative process. Otherwise, the ERP system can never reach its full potential.
While your company needs and can benefit from ERP implementation, it’s not necessary to make it a stressful, frustrating experience.
The Next Step
Eliminate the stress and uncertainties with Microsoft Dynamics AX, the premier ERP and CRM software and the implementation experts at AlfaPeople, a premier Global Microsoft Dynamics Inner Circle partner.
How AlfaPeople Can Help
AlfaPeople specialize in adapting Microsoft’s leading-edge ERP and CRM software—Dynamics AX to the needs of companies of all sizes around the world. Dynamics AX not only automates key processes like inventory and shipping, it gives you real-time customer data you can use to spike sales by reaching customers more effectively.
To get a quick sense of how Dynamics AX can power up your processes to cut costs, improve efficiency and ramp up sales, contact us.