ERP’ll be alright on the night 1 – Pre-implementation

Depending on how old you are, the title of this piece will either make you think of Dennis Norden or Griff Rhys Jones. Either way, inspired by the TV show, we thought we’d put together our own list of the most common ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) errors.

Planning and implementing an ERP system is likely to be one of the most costly investments a company can make. Ensuring that it’s as seamless and stress-free as possible is vital.

When implemented correctly, the right ERP system can give you a return on your investment, streamlining your business, cutting costs, and helping to increase profits.

Unfortunately, a few simple mistakes could turn it into a time consuming task that creates more problems than it solves. With so many things to consider, failing to plan in advance could be costly and, unlike television, you won’t get the opportunity for a second or third take!

Here are some of the most common ERP planning mistakes you should avoid at the pre-implementation stage of an ERP project.

Not fully understanding its benefits

Before jumping into buying and implementing an ERP system, you need to understand what benefits can be gained from it. Build a business case for upgrading, understand and explain the benefits to both the company and employees. Make sure you communicate this across the company, stressing how important it is to get everyone’s buy-in on the project.

Failing to assign a project manager and team

An ERP vendor will assign their own project manager but it’s also important to have your own internal Project Manager and team. They can coordinate the project and act as a single point of contact for the vendor. A project team made up of the heads of department that will be using the system can bring their own knowledge and foresight when researching and auditing the system.

Inaccurate data

An ERP system is only as effective as the data that’s uploaded into it. Understand from the very beginning what information you want to put in the system, what data you want to get out of it and, most importantly, what information you don’t want in there. By knowing this you can prepare for manual data input and set data parameters to reduce errors.

Failure to communicate

Very few people like change, especially when it might mean that they have to do more as a result. Most would happily struggle on with what they know rather than embrace something new, even if it might make their life easier. That’s why it’s so important to tell everyone affected by a new ERP system just how it’s going to benefit them. An informed and happy workforce is much more likely to buy into the project.

Inadequate security

Often forgotten, security should be a major consideration when upgrading. Increasing the size of a system also increases the risks of a security breach. Assess your security needs at the start of the project and adjust accordingly to avoid confidential information getting into the wrong hands.

Doing nothing

This could be the biggest mistake of them all. If you’ve recognised that your business is running inefficiently and you’ve identified areas within your existing system that require improvement, doing nothing about it could ultimately result in losing clients and the eventual closure of your business.

This may seem like a lot to think about, but it really can make or break the implementation of an ERP system and have serious repercussions on your business. If you want more advice about finding the right vendor before implementing a new system, give us a call.

Written by Mark Blackmore, Head of Telemarketing at QBS Group

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