Five Fearsomely Frightful ERP Fails

Since we've reached the time of the year when it’s customary to give people a fright, we thought we’d share something really scary!

We've already looked at the potential pitfalls you might experience before, during and after you’ve implemented a new ERP system. Now we look at some of the mistakes that are best avoided if you don’t want your new software to become a horror story.

Think of these as the rules that they highlighted in the movie “Scream”; the ERP equivalent of never going into a basement or attic on your own, never visiting a cabin in the woods, never asking “Who’s there?” and never, ever, under any circumstances saying “I’ll be right back”!


A Nightmare on ERP Street

One of the biggest horrors that you can bring upon yourself is going into an ERP implementation unprepared. Like the college student who ventures into the woods with just a torch and large stick, the business who replaces their business management software ill-equipped is going to come to a sticky end!

While an ERP vendor will allocate a project manager, it’s a good to have your own internal Project Manager and team to act as a single point of contact for the vendor. This team should have an understanding of the benefits an ERP solution could bring to the business, so it’s best if it’s made up of the heads of department that will be using the system.  

Communicate these benefits so that everyone knows how important your ERP is and ensure that everyone realises why the change that’s about to come is going to be good for everyone involved. This way you’ll avoid any nasty surprises!

It’s also worth remembering security. All too often, the horror movie hero/heroine suffers from an unlocked door or open window. Increasing the size of a system also increases the risks of a security breach, so assess your security needs as early as possible.


The Last ERP Vendor on the Left

How many times have scary movies hinged on someone trusting the wrong person? The twist comes, and it’s too late.

Don’t fall into the same trap with your ERP vendor. Rather than using the first vendor that you speak to, take time to research and find one who has knowledge or experience of your industry. If they understand the issues that you face, they can advise you on the right ERP system to solve them. Doing this properly takes time and, since no two projects are the same, it’s difficult to say precisely how much time and budget you should allocate. But, if you work closely with your vendor, you should begin to understand what’s required. And remember, it’s better to overestimate. That way you can allow for any shortages in resources or development delays.


Dawn of the Dead-Software-Solution

Some businesses are still using tired old systems alongside a new one because of historic data. Unfortunately, these lurching zombie systems will eventually consume your business’ brains. So shoot them in the head now before it’s too late.

Having two systems means double the costs for maintenance and support, plus more work to slowly find and transfer information between systems like the shuffling undead! Archive data from your old system before you upgrade so that you can cleanse the information before uploading it to the new system.


The Testing Go-Live Massacre

You could go live and see what happens. But it’s pretty much the same as just running headlong into a Texan wilderness of chainsaw wielding lunatics and hoping for the best. Better then to test your system to the extreme, putting it through its paces to see how it stands up to the pressures and strains of working at maximum capacity.

It’s also worth recreating a go-live environment so that you have the opportunity to practice a risk-free installation. This can help you to avoid any potentially perilous issues and solve the problems before they can cause you any serious damage.


Invasion of the Unprepared Users

To get the best out of your ERP software you need to ensure that your staff actually know how to use it effectively. Under-trained staff are likely to roam around like pod-people, creating inefficiency and chaos wherever they lurch, so always allocate sufficient training costs into your budget. It’s also worth informing people about which functions and features they will be responsible for and using in the ERP system.

Hopefully, if you can avoid these five frightful ERP fails, you can enjoy a stress-free implementation without any nightmares! And if you should be afraid of things that go bump during your software update, get in touch and we’ll help you find an ERP vendor that won’t give you the shivers!

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