Businesses choosing to replace outdated, inefficient software with a modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution must first realize that ERP alone won't fix bad processes. It's a common misconception, which often sidetracks an ERP implementation. Inefficient operations, poor internal (cross-functional) communication and complacency are impossible to correct with software alone.
ERP isn't just about installing software; it's about enabling continuous process improvement. ERP offers great opportunities to improve internal operations and strengthen customer experience. Oftentimes, the financial investment in ERP technology is the motivator an organization needs to make process improvement a priority!
Here are several common ERP implementation misconceptions to avoid:
1. ERP won't reform broken processes:
Don't trade in one inefficient process for an equally inefficient process in your new ERP. Current management systems may limit the effectiveness of certain processes today, forcing employees to rely on workarounds or manual processes. Be open to changing those processes and levering the benefits of the new features and functions. There may be processes where more automation across functional areas is now available; consider how automation could improve those processes. Are there other processes that should be retired all together?
2. Consider policy changes:
Are there policies and procedures in place today that should be re-evaluated or changed? Changes to “the way we always did it” are challenging to face, but important to making process improvements that deliver measurable results. Have you enabled your employees to meet the needs of your customers? Are nuisance policies disempowering employees and adversely affecting your customers?
3. Be prepared for risk:
There are many ways ERP implementations can be delayed, and your project team must be prepared to navigate those challenges. For example, stakeholders may have different assumptions and expectations or leaders lose interest in the project. In other cases, IT must determine whether current infrastructure is adequate or a cloud deployment would be a better option. Risk planning will help the team take proactive steps to avoid common issues and respond more effectively when challenges arise.
4. Implementation is over when ERP goes live:
ERP implementations are best considered as a journey for continuous process improvement. As end-users receive training and grow more confident with the ERP, they will find new ways to become more efficient, innovate operations and enhance the customer experience. This ongoing approach will make sure your ERP continues to support the changing needs of your business and you capture more and more value from your investment in it.
ERP provides businesses with the tools and insights needed to improve operations; however, your employees play an important role in executing on those insights and leading your business to success.
Download "10 Days to ERP Success" to learn how technology, employees and customer expectations play a critical role in the success of your business and the success of your ERP implementation. And, contact us if we can assist you with designing and implementing your ERP solution.