ERP Implementation: 5 steps to avoid unsuccessful implementations

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ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning is a technology which is becoming a necessity in the 21st century for almost all industry and verticals. ERP plays a very essential role in the growth of the company, hence, this is the reason why every company has to put in a lot of time and effort for evaluating, procuring, training and overall ERP Implementation.

ERP implementations have always been shrouded with doubts and reservations from the employees and management. The team implementing the ERP software should be very patient while clearing all the pre-conceived notion and prejudice towards the ERP Implementation.

Though Sage Software Solutions (P) Ltd. has done implementations for a lot of industries and verticals, the implementer and the representative always come across nearly identical set of beliefs that they face. In an attempt to debunk the common issues that the people feel during an ERP Implementation, we have come up with 5 common Myths that need to be explained.

5 Myths about ERP Implementation Debunked

#1 ERP will do all the entries on its own

During the ERP implementation phase, we have often come across questions being raised by the users, that the entries will be done by the ERP system automatically just by clicking a button and they can just sit back and see the system doing all the transaction on its own. The truth is, yes the system can do this for the users provided you give the instructions correctly in the form of configuration. That configuration takes lot of time from both sides, the user and the consultant.

#2 ERP is an additional burden on the users

Users have also complained about the initial number of entries to be done in any ERP. Here, the user needs to understand that without the ERP software, they will be spending more time in entering the transaction and then at the month end / year end, there might be duplicity of data in the form of reporting when they present the same to auditors or government departments. If an ERP software is successfully implemented, the user can save the time that they are wasting in duplicating entries for reporting purpose, though this will involve putting in some time initially for setting up configuring the software.

#3 ERP is helpful only for Management

Users also often think that the ERP solution being implemented is useful only to the management, and it is a tool for the management to monitor the staff’s work. The employees don’t understand that the amount of time users are saving by working through ERP is very less and neither they nor the management have to depend on others for the reporting and inter-department updating purpose. Management can pull out the required reports from the system while the users save time and can relax.

#4 ERP is only for educated and new generation users

ERP is considered as a shortcut for a lot of people who believe in detailed and minute work. They think that depending a lot on ERP will not help them as they will have to do more work. We need to understand that once ERP has been integrated with other software that the company uses, there will be lesser data leakage and faster processing of data. It is true that the newer generation want an ERP system which is fast, accessible and more user friendly to provide them with the required information on the go, but ERP does not have any age bar. It can be used by any working class member and by any company even if they are startups. With sufficient training, ERP solutions that are very user friendly and can be used very effectively without having prior experience of any ERP.

#5 ERP is for only big Fat Fish

There are times when not only users but the management as well thinks that an ERP software is only for Fat Fish or big market players. They need to understand that the business size or revenue doesn’t play any role in the ERP implementation and you can start using the ERP if you have only 1 user as well. ERP software is a catalyst for growth of the organization wherein it can help the company scale up to higher levels. ERP software like Sage ERP are also robust and scalable in nature wherein, they grow with the organization and the management does not outgrow the use of the ERP software for a very long time.

5 ways to avoid an unsuccessful ERP Implementation:

ERP Implementation has never been an easy task. For a successful ERP Implementation, the major role is not only the ERP vendor and consulting team, but also the union of team work and a perfect implementation strategy between the vendor and the company. Going further from our previous, blog about 5 myths of ERP Implementation, we will explore what are the most imperative ways to avoid a unsuccessful ERP Implementation.

Perfect Planning

Detailed planning plays a very important role for the success of an ERP Implementation. All milestones must be set and clear before start any ERP implementation / project. All project related plans must be shared prior to starting between all the teams involved so that everyone knows the stakes that are involved and are on a same page to all milestones / goals without fail to avoid delay, over costing and unsuccessful ERP Implementation. It is very imperative that all tasks should be in a logical sequence and all priorities must be set with pre-defined deadline.

If proper planning and evaluation is not done, then the overall project time frame goes beyond the deadline, and cost of the project gets very high and finally it becomes a big reason a failure of ERP Implementation.

Scope of Work

After planning the main step to avoid ERP implementation is clarity of the scope. Scope clarity means defining all important business processes. Scope clarity can be done by proper requirement gathering and it should be done only by interview / interrogation with functional / operational head. After gathering requirement, all the discussion contents between the team must be noted, transparency and documented. There should not be anything assuming segment. It is very important to be clear with the expectation and requirement.

If proper requirement is not done, then the communication gap creates lots of problem throughout the implementation and it may give rise to failure of ERP Implementation.

Avoid Bulk Customization

Customization of an ERP software is a very big challenge for the success of an implementation. If lots of customization are involved, then lots of time gets wasted making one change and testing if there is any other unwanted change in any other linked or unlinked module. Most ERPs are suited 80% for a company. It is the 20% which is customized for including the uniqueness of the company. But the company should see to it that they do not go overboard with the customizations as this will also lead to the project getting delayed. Additionally, project derails from the main goal. So to avoid delay and failure of ERP Implementation mass customization should be avoid.

Perfect Team

Team members involved in the process of ERP implementation must be experienced. ERP project will always be one of the biggest projects for the company and it will be very risky, if the right person is not involved from initial level or start of the project. The person should have sound knowledge of all functionality / operations and the privileges of taking right decision-making as and when required to avoid delay and to avoid wrong direction of project. The team members should have the ability to understand the correct business processes and also able to make understand to others as well.

Because of wrong selection of team members, it is very highly chance of failure of ERP Implementation. So, perfect team is also a very crucial section to avoid a failure of ERP Implementation.  The team should consist of people / IT managers from functional or business departments, someone from the higher management so that there is no gap between what is expected out of the project as a whole.

Appropriate Training

One of the most important things in ERP Implementation is to make the end user usually the staff familiar about the application and its benefits. It is possible only with the appropriate training session from the senior management. It becomes very important to all the concerned people to receive proper training and let go of any prejudice that they might have. If the training session is not taken seriously by the trainer and the senior management, there will be a lack in understanding the benefits of the ERP solution and this may further fuel the prejudice and the fear of job among the users.

Training should not be taken very lightly and it one of the most overlooked reasons resulting in an ERP Implementation failure. To know how can you have a smooth ERP Implementation, SMS SAGE to 56767 or write to sales@sagesoftware.co.in

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