We’ve reached the final part of our guide to the bloopers, mistakes and mishaps that could accompany the implementation of a new ERP system. Just like the TV show, this will help you avoid any ERP errors by highlighting some of the mistakes that other people have made. Unlike the TV show though, you won’t have the chance for a re-take.
Having invested so much money in making improvements to your business, you want it to be as seamless and stress-free as possible. By the end of a project, you’d expect to be able to see the beginnings of a return on your investment, with processes streamlined, costs cut, and profits improved.
Without proper planning, this may not be the case. Here are the most common mistakes you can avoid once an ERP system has been implemented and is up and running in your business.
Not knowing its limitations
Testing your system is important but it usually only involves 1 or 2 people using the system at any given time. It’s important to test the system to the extreme so that you’re aware of how it will stand up to the pressures and strains of working at maximum capacity. This will allow you to see if an increased workload will cause any problems, without it creating downtime and costing you money.
Installing without a mock go-live
Recreating a go-live environment that replicates the same conditions as the actual launch gives you the opportunity to practice the installation without any risks. This will help you to understand any potential issues you may face on the day, giving you the chance to solve the problems before they cause any real damage.
You can’t increase efficiency and productivity if your staff don’t actually know how to use your new system. It’s like asking them to ride without stabilisers when they’ve never sat on a bike before! Under-trained staff is one of the main reasons why so many ERP projects fail, creating inefficiency and a lack of productivity. Precisely the opposite of what you want it to achieve. Always make sure that you add sufficient training costs when calculating your budget.
Not instructing users
Aside from training, it’s wise to instruct all users on which functions they will be responsible for and what information they need to input. You’d be surprised at how few people within a company truly understand which features they are using in their ERP system. This will allow you to automate more business processes and complete tasks faster, streamlining your business and potentially increasing profit.
Trying to cut maintenance costs
By not taking full advantage of a vendor’s support and maintenance, you could end up spending more on repairing or replacing software further down the line. A vendor’s support will be able to use their knowledge of the latest technology, improvements, upgrades and support packs to ensure that the system is running as effectively as possible.
Yes, we’re mentioning it again! Mainly because we can’t stress its importance enough. Any business that’s running inefficiently with an outdated system isn’t going to last very long. So make sure you aren’t sticking your head in the sand and do something about it now.
Once an ERP system is implemented and part of your business, there’s a danger of getting complacent and thinking that the job is done. Sitting back and hoping to reap the rewards without managing it properly is a big risk. For more advice on how you can find the right vendor to help you before, during and after an implementation, get in touch now.
Written by Mark Blackmore, Head of Telemarketing at QBS Group
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