Why some implementations of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software fail

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The complexities of business processes today are at the core of why an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation can fail from bad installations, given the need to integrate so much data from so many different levels.

Initially, enterprise decision makers may push back on the idea of using an ERP system because it represents too much change, particularly when it comes accessibility of critical data.

A few of the perils associated with failed installations include:

ERP may just not be the right choice…

Strange as it may be, organisations may look the proverbial ‘greener pastures’ when obstacles prevent the enterprise from solving it’s data management problems. In fact, just drilling-down on their existing reporting systems, looking at their employee Intranet and portals might very well mitigate their ongoing problem.

Clear objectives never defined…

It’s imperative that the stakeholders sign-on to what it is they expect from the implementation. What will the overall  benefits be in terms of financial outcomes and data management.

Never considered using a third-party during implementation....

Getting up-to-speed with the ERP platform can be complicated. What’s often needed, but never realised until problems loom, are resources outside of the company personnel. Underestimating the time and skilled personnel needed is one of the most “common blunder(s) to happen.”

For external resources, having an agreement up-front with your consultants and contractors about the specific duration, skills, and quantity of resources needed is critical.

Trying to ‘customise’ before fully understanding the ERP’s capabilities…

Too much time and money can be spent on customising certain modules, like finance and human resources, for example, before everyone is moderately experienced with the system.

At the outset, going full bore on customising is most likely to present to many technical challenges and a scattering of time and talent during the high-point of the ERP’s learning curve.

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