While an ERP software is THE software that can help you streamline your business processes and save you money as a result, the truth is that implementing an ERP system is expensive, complicated and time-consuming even for the most experienced IT professional. And there’s always the risk of getting delayed and incurring unexpected expenses. These are costly mistakes. You can, however, avoid these mistakes. We talked with different ERP vendors, software consultants and IT executives on what they think are the most common mistakes that companies make when implementing their own ERP system.
While software installation mistakes are fairly common even among the best programmers, committing mistakes in implementing an ERP software is something that you do NOT want to happen. Why? Because of the cost. Even the least expensive software is going to set you back by hundreds of thousands of dollars, while the most expensive will cost you millions. And this does not include the man hours needed to get the software up and running. However, there is no doubt that a properly implemented system is going to make your business processes more effective by streamlining your work flow. On the other hand, a poorly implemented ERP system is going to cost you, with what exactly, only you can know.
So, what you want to do is to avoid the mistakes that we talked about in the earlier part of this article. What are they? You will find a list below outlining them in brief, complete with some bytes of advice how you can avoid them.
Mistake No. 1 – Choosing the wrong vendor
Most companies get sold by a vendor’s sales tactics, and get blinded enough to buy right away without any thought about testing the quality of the product. Don’t make this mistake because it’s hard to correct an ERP system that’s defective and causes cyber security issues. So, before signing any contract to buy, make sure that the vendor can provide you with proof that their product works seamlessly. If not, then at least give you references when you ask for them. Ask for the names and contact information of at least three companies that have used the vendor’s particular ERP system so you can talk to them about the features and functionality, as well as the challenges of using the software. If the vendor can’t or isn’t willing to provide you with references, don’t do business with them.
Mistake No. 2 – Not decommissioning previous versions
If you have another ERP system in place, you should decommission it and remove any trace of it from your system to avoid version issues. Version issues are complicated and can take time to get resolved. You should do what you can so it never happens.
Mistake No. 3 – Not using in a test environment first
You should provide a testing environment to avoid any down times and other problems when you implement the ERP system live. Simulate real world settings and see how it affects the software.
Mistake No. 4 – Insisting exclusively on vendor support
Did you know that by using third-party support services you can save 30% to 50% off the cost of support services for your ERP system? Yet a lot of companies insist on getting support exclusively from their vendors and paying a premium for it. But we’re here to tell you this: Your vendor does NOT have the monopoly of ERP knowledge. Take advantage of that fact.
Mistake No. 5 – Not updating and maintaining
Like any other software, an ERP system can get outdated without maintenance work and updates. This is true for all software in general: maintenance and updating are equally important to the installation. You don’t need to worry about running into issues during updates. The technology for upgrading software to the latest version has improved enough that you won’t ever experience any service interruptions.