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What Not to do When Choosing an ERP

What Not to do When Choosing an ERP

What NOT to do, When Choosing an ERP

So, you’ve finally made the decision to switch to a smarter system for your corporate needs. Maybe the business has outgrown what’s currently in place, or you’ve simply decided enough is enough and change is in order. Whichever the reason, every business needs a solid and streamlined structure to improve business processes (and ultimately reduce the stress and hair pulling). And a reliable Enterprise Resource Planning software is the best place to start.

If it’s taking longer to reconcile finances and tedious paperwork at the end of the month, you’re lacking access to real-time information or small inefficiencies are adding up, then it’s time to make a change. Workplace dynamics are constantly evolving, and you need something that will grow with your business in an easy, capable and practical way.

For many business owners though, making the switch can be a headache within itself. ERP systems are huge investments of time, resources and money – thus, it pays to get it right. To help ensure your ERP implementation is going to benefit your business, minimise potential problems and drive success, it’s vital you know what to look out for. Here are a few mistakes to avoid when choosing an ERP system:

Over-Investing Too Soon

It’s a big pitfall. You get excited and distracted by all the glitzy features and ‘must haves’. You throw as many funds into it as you can to get everything you think you need. Unfortunately, this mentality almost always fails. Avoid getting too big for your boots and be smart about what your business needs. It’s much more effective to choose scalability over capability. Finding a system that grows as you do is key to ERP success. Keep in line with your business objectives and ask yourself what is essential.

Not Thinking Long Term

Short-sighted thinking and ERP systems don’t work together. Some of the biggest benefits of making the switch are increased performance and return on investment in the long run. Businesses can achieve increased profitability when using an ERP software that fits with their needs, but you need to give it time to reap the full rewards. Whilst there will be an increase in performance on a day-to-day basis, the big benefits from the initial investment are compensated in the long run. Consider where your business will be in a year to five years ahead and make sure the ERP software you choose can nurture accordingly.

Ignoring Stakeholders

Before investing in anything, it’s important to discuss the options with stakeholders. This is a must-have conversation that will help drive the success of the new system. You want to make sure key players can utilise the ERP in the best way for business. Talk to those who will be using the software to weigh up what features are important, whether or not they can easily use it and what will work for them. Allow all stakeholders to offer their thoughts on the decision before you commit to buying. Happy and satisfied staff is essential for business productivity an employment satisfaction! Communicate early and frequently throughout the implementation to ensure the new system accommodates the overall strategy of the business.

Not Understanding or Using Key Features

There is no use having key features if relevant staff don’t understand how to use them, or they’re not being utilised. Not only is it a waste of money and resources, but it won’t give your business the best benefits from the software. To implement ERP solutions, you need to do your research into the features and capabilities. Some of the most important are financial management, CRM, human resources management, supply chain management and third-party interoperability.

Without knowing which features are in the ERP system, opportunities to take full advantage of the software are missed. Business processes cannot be automated if key features aren’t being understood or utilised, as with the ability to complete functions faster and meet business objectives. To combat this, initial research is paramount. Once the ERP system is in place, track usage of the features and review periodically to determine which ones are most helpful and being taken advantage of.

Skimping on Training

It goes without saying then, that skimping on training is a danger to avoid. Induction and support is the best way for your business to make the most of the investment. Without it, human errors are all too common and bad habits and processes can eventuate. Allow staff enough time to get their head wrapped around the new system. Training and support will help everyone get comfortable with the ERP software before it goes live and learn how to best take advantage of everything it has to offer.  The more training you invest in, the better chance at ERP success you’ll have.

Not Choosing the Right ERP Software Vendor

Choose a ERP software vendor that knows your business and understands (and listens) to your needs. This can be all the difference between a implementation that’s effective, to one that that falls short on satisfying your business goals. The right vendor should be in sync with your industry and where its future is heading. You want to work with someone who is knowledgeable about industry growth and standards, and is accustomed with related processes to fuel them. Ask your chosen software vendor how they can customise the solution to fit these requirements and adapt with your corporation.

Compare quotes and use good business judgement to find an ERP system that works within your budget. Cost, availability, features and quality of support are all essential factors to take into consideration. Functionality and ease-of-use is also critical. By avoiding the biggest pitfalls and doing your research, you’ll be able to find a business process that is right for you. For more information about how Horizon Business Systems can help with your ERP implementation, speak to one of our staff today.

Michael Pendred