The implementation of an ERP system is a complex and demanding undertaking. In most cases, it does not run without delays, loss of the desired scope of services, a blowing up of the budget or considerable frustration of the project managers and employees. In the worst case the project eventually fails. Here you will find a list of the 5 mistakes that, according to our many years of experience, are frequently made in ERP implementation projects. This list should help you to successfully implement an ERP software solution.
1. Unclear definition of the processes
The basis of a solid ERP implementation should always be a comprehensive analysis of the existing business processes. This should include the definition of the actual goals that are to be achieved with such an introduction.
- Which processes should be optimized and how can they be optimized with the help of the ERP solution?
- Where does the company want to increase its efficiency and is this possible with the help of IT, or how can this be achieved?
If such an analysis is missing, the quality of the ERP project suffers.
2. Selection of the wrong ERP provider
In order to select a suitable provider, a complete set of specifications is necessary. This in turn is based on the previously mentioned definition of existing processes and those to be implemented in the future. An inadequate procedure in this step may possibly lead to the choice of the wrong system. Here, a distinction must be made between two forms:
- Either the software does not cover all requirements
- or the choice falls on an oversized ERP solution, which overburdens the company with high costs and configuration efforts.
The users usually know best which functions they need for the specific work. If a software is to be purchased, it is evident to involve the employees. During the creation of the requirements specification, the functions that are really needed are thus taken into account and, in addition, participation also increases the acceptance of a new software solution. Making the wrong decision when choosing ERP software can cost the company a lot of money and put the whole project into question.
3. Unsuitable project management
Experienced ERP managers know how important professional project management is for the success of an ERP implementation. A fundamental mistake here is to place the project too far back in the hierarchy. In most cases it is advisable to involve a part of the management in the project management, which takes over the responsibility. At this point, there is sufficient decision-making authority for budgets, time planning and target definitions. Plan your ERP implementation project as realistically as possible in terms of resources and deadlines. Fill key positions in the project consistently and give the team members enough freedom. In addition, frequently trivial things like setting milestones are neglected. This can give the impression that the implementation of the ERP system is within budget and on schedule, even though significant milestones were not achieved. It should therefore be ensured that the company has sufficient project management competence before the project starts.
4. Insufficient integration of own resources
It is a great art to recruit the best employees for the project. Especially good people are hard to find in their departments. Only persistence can help here. For the sake of harmony and due to a self-made time pressure, the selection of team members is often based on their availability. Professional competence, experience and communicative skills should be in the foreground. For reasons of cost, external consultants should never be completely rejected, otherwise the project has a much higher probability of failure.
5. Functionalities of the new system are not used to their full potential
An ERP implementation is considered complete when all project requirements have been implemented and the defined target processes have been mapped. Once these goals have been achieved, companies tend to ignore further optimization opportunities, even though the new system offers the functionality to do so. The best ideas, however, arise during ongoing operations. Therefore, it is best to implement a procedure immediately after the end of the project in which improvement suggestions are collected and evaluated in a structured manner. These can then be implemented step by step, either on your own, with the help of external consultants, or in cooperation with the ERP provider.