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7 ERP Implementation Mistakes SMEs Make and How to Avoid Them


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7 ERP Implementation Mistakes SMEs Make and How to Avoid Them

18 Avr 2024

Aptean Staff Writer
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Deploying a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system can seem a daunting task for any company, but especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). New technology is a big investment—and you don’t want to end up with an ERP project that runs over time and budget.

But what are the most common ERP pitfalls when installing new systems?

To help your deployment run smoothly, we’ve identified seven frequent mistakes that SMEs make when introducing new ERP software. Plus, we’ve added some advice on how to avoid those mistakes in your next implementation project.

ERP Mistake 1: Not Making a Robust Plan

Imagine constructing a building without a blueprint. It's bound to collapse. Deploying new ERP software without a clear strategy is asking for similar trouble.

Before you begin your installation project, make a robust plan to guide you through the implementation process.

Start with a thorough evaluation of your current systems and workflows and conduct a gap analysis to understand where your new ERP can bring the most benefits. Be sure to set actionable goals tailored to your business needs as well.

Don’t forget to include deadlines too. Realistic timelines are the scaffolding for your project's success.

ERP Mistake 2: Trying To Do Everything In-House

The right project team can make all the difference, and you may not have the internal skills to coordinate a new software launch.

Assess your in-house resources and decide whether to manage the project yourselves or to work with an implementation partner. Hopefully you’ve chosen an experienced ERP vendor, so they may be better suited to managing your rollout.

Make sure you consider both the skills and capacity your internal team can bring to the ERP project, and how their involvement with new software deployment will affect their day-to-day role. The aim is to minimize disruption.

ERP Mistake 3: Carrying Over Old Data

Data migration is a critical phase in the rollout process, but many companies mistakenly think that everything from your current system needs to be moved over to your new ERP.

Software integration is the perfect moment to take stock of your data and have a thorough cleanse. That way, you’re only using accurate, relevant information in your new ERP system.

Data quality is especially important if you’ve chosen ERP software with built-in business intelligence (BI) tools. Your insights are only as strong as the information that underpins them.

ERP Mistake 4: Rushing Through the Testing Phase

Skipping through the testing stage is like driving while wearing a blindfold—a disaster waiting to happen.

To avoid becoming part of the 40% of ERP systems that face major issues post-launch, conduct detailed functionality, performance and integration tests before you go live.

Even if you’re running behind schedule with your rollout, don’t be tempted to cut back on testing time. It’s much less disruptive to launch the system a couple of days’ late than fix problems with a live ERP.

ERP Mistake 5: Not Investing in Staff Training

The true value of your new ERP lies in its users' hands. A comprehensive training program can alleviate any resistance to change and transform your team into proficient system operators.

You may find it useful to train a couple of super-users within your team, who can carry out peer-to-peer learning once your ERP vendor has shown them the ropes.

ERP Mistake 6: Trying To Manage Technical Support Internally

Even the most reliable ERP systems encounter problems, and user errors are inevitable. That’s why you need ongoing technical support. But does your internal IT person or team have the bandwidth to answer colleague queries?

As part of your implementation project, decide if your super-users can provide sufficient technical support, or if it's more practical to lean on your ERP vendor's expertise. Many SMEs find it easier to let the vendor handle system glitches to stop small issues from snowballing into larger problems.

ERP Mistake 7: Forgetting To Measure Your Success

Implementing your ERP system is just the beginning. To ensure it delivers return on investment (ROI), your organization will need to regularly monitor its performance against your business goals and adjust the way you’re using the platform as needed.

Celebrating the wins and sharing successes with your team will help to reinforce the value of your new system. Plus, it creates an opportunity to establish feedback loops with both your colleagues and your ERP provider, to ensure the software evolves with your business.

Steps to a Stress-Free ERP Rollout

When you’re busy trying to grow your SME, the prospect of a lengthy or complex software project is unappealing. But, with thorough planning, you can avoid these common ERP implementation pitfalls and enjoy a hassle-free deployment.

And the best part? Once your new software is in place, you’ll realize a host of ERP benefits that help you drive significant improvements throughout your business.

To make your next ERP implementation easier, we’ve put together a blog on the 10 Steps to a Successful ERP System Implementation. It’s tailored to SME businesses like yours to ensure your ERP system is fully integrated and drives value for your business from the start.

Reach out to us today—we'd love to chat about your system requirements and upcoming projects.

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