An ERP system has the potential to provide immense value to an organization by synchronizing and configuring all of its business processes. If implemented properly, it can give an enterprise a significant competitive advantage by saving time and reducing resources. Nevertheless, implementing a new ERP system comes with a slew of challenges. The good news is that most of these problems are avoidable with proper planning. Let’s take a look at the top 5 challenges and how to avoid them:
1. Inadequate system training
The most significant challenge of implementing a new ERP system is simply ensuring everyone knows how to use it. An ERP System will only ever be as good as those who are using it, so guaranteeing that your employees are proficient in using it could be make or break for the system’s success.
When implementing ERP systems, a lot of companies fail to adopt a comprehensive training schedule that will help bridge the legacy system to the new system, thereby assuming end users can seamlessly transition from one system to another without proper training. System function training should be an integral part of implementation and ought to be ongoing so employees can continually improve their ability to perform their job functions using the ERP system. Train early and train often
2. Poor change management
Most people tend to prefer what they are familiar with and sometimes resist new technology because it often involves a steep learning curve or a shift in processes or responsibilities. Admittedly, a new ERP system can be intimidating, especially for your employees that have adopted a “But this is how we’ve always done things” mindset.
Resistance to a new ERP system is much more likely absent a training program that gives employees adequate time and resources to acclimate to the new technology. Creating a training schedule that gives employees enough time to get comfortable with the new system is key to addressing their questions and concerns about the new system early in the implementation process.
3. Not understanding key features
Chances are, your company will invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in a new ERP system and its implementation. Nevertheless, absent comprehensive training, end users frequently aren’t aware of all of the features that are available to them. This means that companies frequently miss out on chances to automate their business processes, speed up functionality, and meet more targets.
The primary reason employees don’t use or understand all of the beneficial functions of a new ERP system is that most companies take a one-and-done approach to training. With a system as functionally complex as an ERP, learning and skill development ought to be continuous and competency-based.
4. Poor project management
For large projects like an ERP implementation that could take several months to complete, people can easily get bogged down by the sheer magnitude of the project and lose sight of the discrete steps that need to be taken to make daily progress.
To avoid this issue, try creating customizable development plans for each team and/or team member that target the specific skills that each individual/team needs to improve on so they don’t get bogged down by the size of the greater project of implementation. In other words, break down ERP training into more digestible, discrete bits of learning.
5. Business philosophy changes
Another challenge company’s often face when implementing an ERP system is how it brings significant changes to a company’s conventional business model and the day-to-day practices it has been using for years or even decades.
So as to not lose sight of the grander purpose of implementing the ERP—centralizing and integrating business functions—integrate your employees’ understanding with the new ERP system with your company’s Core Values. This can also help refresh your employees’ connection to your company’s fundamental values and lay a strategic foundation for your organization’s future.