Take a moment and think about all it takes to run a company efficiently—the HR, finance, procurement, marketing, manufacturing, services, supply chain among others. At the least, ERP systems integrate all these processes into one system.
The latest enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems use advanced technologies that feature artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to ensure efficiency, visibility and intelligence in all aspects of a given business.
Ideally, a next-gen ERP system utilises digital assistants to help businesses to focus on more important matters while the AI and machine learning automate the processes. Its element of predictive analytics ensures better insights while supporting real-time decision making.
Which business in the 21st century doesn’t envision higher productivity, streamlined and automated business processes, accelerated reporting, reduced risks, improved agility and simplified IT?
However, more and more businesses are finding the process of identifying the right ERP software utterly complex—which shouldn’t be the case given that ERP options are readily available on the market now than ever before.
These ERP solutions range from host-it-yourself, cloud-based to ERP services tailored to specific sectors. As such, many businesses are getting more confused by the increasingly complex nature of identifying and implementing a suitable ERP solution for their businesses.
This article is dedicated to highlighting some of the challenges that businesses face when looking to implement an ERP solution in their organisations.
But even with the many challenges, you shouldn’t be deterred from benefiting from the opportunities that come with integrating ERP systems in a business.
#1. Poor Budgeting
This challenge tops our list since most top management underestimate the implementation and maintenance cost of an ERP system. In most cases, organisations overlook costs related to the software, temporal decline in efficiency and additional labour required to complete the entire process of implementation.
To be honest, there’s nothing as humiliating as starting to implement a project only to get stuck along the way for running out of resources—then end up with a half-baked system.
#2. Giving Up Too Early
In today’s real-time digital world, almost everything you need is just a click away—unfortunately that’s not the case with ERP system implementation. It is not uncommon to see businesses abandoning an ERP product when the first problem arises.
But, a successfully implemented ERP solution takes time and for it to function correctly there’s great need for maintenance and system changes once it is in place.
Have a long-term staff responsible for the ERP system. S/he should be present during the implementation of the solution and should acquire relevant skills for maintaining and making the necessary changes to the system.
#3. Misunderstanding of ERP Features
More often, businesses choose an ERP solution with the longest list of features. Instead, they should focus on their industry-specific features without trying to utilise all of them. Trying out each and every feature of the ERP system can really complicate its implementation.
#4. Strong ERP System Team Support
One of the biggest mistakes that most businesses do is leaving their IT and tech staff out of their ERP product implementation. This often complicates things later on in the process especially during instances of system failure, change or maintenance.
The correct way to handle this is to have your IT team trained in the implementation process even if you have hired a reliable ERP implementation specialist. The beauty is that you can always reassign the day-to-day duties and responsibilities of your in-house staff but still have them help in the implementation and maintenance of the system.
#5. Implementing the ERP Too Quickly
The process of implementing the ERP and ultimately starting to use it is a complex undertaking. And the truth is that you can’t implement each and every feature all at once. Normally, a standard waterfall model is adopted during the implementation of this software.
Note: A waterfall model refers to a scenario where every task is performed in sequence after a previous one.
#6. Poor Communication Across Departments
Generally, this is a problem that affects most ERP implementation processes. Given that an ERP solution integrates all the processes of a business into a single system, there has to be a buy-in kind of thing from every department.
For instance, most small and medium enterprises require data sharing features across multiple sectors of the business to ensure efficient workflow as well as guarding against various risks.
#7. Set Realistic Implementation Goals
Normally, it all begins with the goal to “implement an ERP system”. But setting milestones or goals for implementing the ERP product from start to finish makes the process faster and smoother.
These goals can be set depending on the specific departments or a uniform percentage for implementing the system across all the departments.
So, if you’re a business looking to do more with limited resources; fast-track your financial or business reporting; improve performance in real-time and maximise your business control and visibility; be sure to identify your organisation’s challenge(s) for implementing ERP; then fix them and make the most of new opportunities with efficient operations.