7 Mistakes to Avoid During ERP Implementation and Training

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is an effective and simplified system of automated and integrated applications, in the form of a software package, for the purpose of a company’s core business functions to operate in an efficient manner. The facilitation of the flow of information is an important goal of enterprise resource planning for the commitment of making intelligent data-driven business decisions. ERP provides management with key performance indicators in real time by utilizing software to collect and organize data from various departments within the organization. The staff training process is an important step for a successful implementation. These seven mistakes should be avoided during ERP implementation.

  1. Avoid Multitasking:  An effective and simplified system of automated and integrated applications should avoid multitasking. By reducing multitasking, an individual is able to prioritize objectives to focus on the task at hand. Costly mistakes may be reduced by decreasing multitasking. Issues should be resolved in order to avoid delays.
  2. Don’t Concentrate on Executive Approval:  While executive approval is a critical step, selection, implementation and training teams should be comprised of individuals that are key participants in the daily running of the business for each department. A major mistake to avoid is concentrating on executive approval only. The selection, implementation and training teams should make recommendations to the executive for approval.
  3. Forsaken Audits:  Do not forsake an internal audit of all the processes and policies before selecting the best ERP solution for a company. Stakeholders from each segment of the business may form an ERP evaluation team to conduct an internal audit. A business may decide to hire a consultant firm experienced with ERP implementation that is vendor neutral to perform the internal audit.
  4. Insufficient Communication:  Good communication with key personnel and the staff is important throughout the ERP implementation process. Managers should inform employees directly affected by the ERP system during the consideration phase. Employees are automatically suspicious concerning changes when not properly informed. Good communication will alleviate many negative feelings and comments.
  5. Knowledge Deficiency:  Many companies are unaware of all of the capabilities and functions of the ERP system currently utilized. Many of the systems are not functioning at maximum capacity.  The company should comprise a master list of features to utilize when training new employees and to review annually. The list may be periodically reviewed to track usage of features.
  6. Lack of Training:  Employees should be well trained before the ERP system goes live. Each employee should be able to demonstrate his/her function(s) with the ERP system. Companies often cite lack of training as the main reason for an ERP system failure. The training begins with good communication concerning change. Employees should be kept in the loop periodically throughout the process. Consider third party trainers that specialize in ERP implementation.
  7. Not Asking for References:  Ask for a meeting with three or more businesses in the same field that has utilized a particular vendor. Find out if the ERP system posed restrictions on the company’s processes. Question the references concerning functionality and specific features of each system.

(Photo is courtesy of Formation Technique ERP as uploaded by Ubuntu MA on Flickr’s Creative Commons.)

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