Five Common ERP Implementation Challenges Businesses Face

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[June 2017] Choosing to implement an ERP is a big decision for any company, and warrants careful planning and execution. Here are five common ERP implementation challenges that companies often face:

Choosing an adequate system – The size and scope of an ERP ultimately determines a business’ strategy for as many as 10 years to come. The choices that are made at implementation will play a large role in the success of current and future business activities, so company leaders must ask themselves what customizations and features are not only important for today, but for tomorrow as well. An ERP that scales well is a must.

It’s costly and time consuming – It’s no secret that implementing an ERP is a costly endeavor, and the more customizations to the ERP, the higher the cost. This is also true of time commitments. The more prepared a company is to begin the implementation process, the better its employees will be able to anticipate cost and time commitments. Choosing a solid ERP partner that communicates well and expertly manages the entire process from discovery to operation is equally as important.

Resistance to change – Top management support is crucial for an effective and successful ERP implementation. Because an ERP repositions the company and transforms its overall business practices, management must be on board, and intricately involved throughout every step. The management team also needs to assign an internal team to work with the ERP vendor that is made up of the right employees who are up to the task.

Sharing data with an outside organization – A company’s data is fundamental to its success. It’s often times proprietary information, and that isn’t easy to just hand over to a vendor. Choosing a vendor that is willing to earn a company’s trust is vital. An open line of communication is key, including a solid, ongoing discussion about time and cost commitments.

Training employees – Once the management team is on board, it’s important for employees to feel empowered as well. Proper training for the correct use of all the ERP functions, reports and other activities will make for an easy transition and understanding of all the new capabilities an ERP presents.

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