ERP Software is generally implemented in companies who are scaling up faster or who have already scaled up. But few companies will do so even at the starting or launch stage. If you take a new company that has implemented an ERP mostly they will have lesser problems in implementing it. The same applies to a scaled up company as well. But if you take the companies that are scaling faster ERP implementation will be little difficult. The main reason why an ERP implementation is successful in a startup is they do not have an existing system in place and the expectations from the ERP are also minimal. On the other hand if you take a fully scaled up company they can also implement ERP without much difficulty. It is because most of them would have used to an ERP earlier so the learning part will be less and moreover the management will spend quality time to implement the ERP properly.
Now let us see what 5 big mistakes fast growing companies are making when implementing an ERP Software. In general there are few things which we can mention as mistakes are technology choice, ERP Software vendor, small budget, not enough resources to implement to name a few. But in this article I would like to be more specific on where they actually making the mistake. That is the reason I had mentioned mistakes taken from real life situations.
- Trying to get the same templates for Invoice/Quote/Deliver notes which was used earlier:Most of the fast growing companies makes the mistake of using the same old templates and formats that they used in their previous software or excel sheets. One thing which you should think as a business owner is templates are as good as it has the critical information in it. Sometimes it will look silly when companies ask for the same template including the positions of various fields in it. The very reason for going for an ERP is to change and move faster. If you want to follow the same old thing then why do you need an ERP? This is the question every company should ask themselves when they move to an ERP
- Taking users’ advice without analyzing: Everyone is resistant to change. We generally follow the same route when we go to office and we follow certain things in a particular way. The same holds good when you implement a new ERP system in your company. The users may be comfortable with Excel sheets and the old software. They have been using these tools for ages and they find it pretty simple when using it. When they use a new ERP system even the simplest of operation may look difficult initially. To get a particular solution or report in Excel they might have used 10 steps to get it. When the same output is expected from an ERP you may end up using 4 steps. But still the user may take more time to get that. It is because of practice. But the user will come out with a feedback stating it takes more time for them to get the desired report. But if you analyze it practically, you will understand it is faster. For the user to get the speed it needs practice. So it is always important to analyze the user’s feedback thoroughly before jumping into conclusion. Ultimately ERP is implemented with the intention to grow your business.
- Feature to Feature Comparison of the existing system: People have the tendency to compare old with new at any given situation. In cricket, people compared gavaskar with sachin and now Kohli is compared with sachin and it will continue. In the same way, the new ERP software will be compared with the existing systems and processes. As a Business owner you should remember that any change is for the good. The reason why you are looking for the ERP solution is because you have a problem in the existing system. So what is the point in trying to check whether it has the same features as the previous system? These things need to be checked before the time of purchase. You should only think about the big picture on what extra reports or tracking mechanisms that I am getting out of this new ERP system.
- Accountant is unable to adapt: As mentioned earlier users will resist the new ERP solution. If you take an accountant in a smaller company or a fast growing company the business owner will be too much dependent on him on the financial part of the business. So the accountant generally has a tendency that if an ERP is implemented they lose their importance in the company. Apart from that they also do not want to learn the new technology. So if an accountant states it is difficult to use the new ERP and it will be difficult to complete book of accounts on time you should think about only one thing. If whatever the accountant state is true, then how big companies have adapted to an ERP environment. Of course, they would have also gone through all these challenges initially but they were bold enough to implement it in spite of all the odds. That is why they are successful. At the end of the day, it is your investment and risk in running the business, so you have to decide on what is good for the company and not the accountant.
- Less Patience: ERP implementation cannot be done overnight. It takes lot of time to be absorbed in the system. As a business owner you need to give the time for the users to settle down in the new system. One standard instruction which you have to give to your team members is that your company is going to follow only the new system. Once this instruction is given to the team, you will be surprised to see that most of them will learn the new system faster. Of course there will be few people who will still be against the new system. But if you are firm enough to implement it slowly those few will also learn automatically
- Less Resource: If you really want to implement ERP Software in your business, it is important to know who will be your key users and also analyze whether you need any additional resource. In reality this does not happen and as a result ERP implementation will be a big failure. ERP system implementation should be done with correct number of resources otherwise it will be very difficult to use it in your company. Another important thing to note is there should one or two key users apart from the business owner to know in and out of the software. It is only through these key users knowledge sharing should happen in every department, so that it becomes easier to train your team. Another aspect which you can notice in an ERP system is it will follow a particular flow or pattern. At each stage there will be a person who will be entering few data. If your company does not have those resources at different stage there will be a disconnect in the flow or if you want an existing person to do that extra role then life becomes tough for that person and will feel that the ERP is too complicated. As a result the ERP implementation will be unsuccessful.
So if you want to implement ERP Software for your fast growing business you have to make sure that you avoid doing these mistakes. If the business owner has a well proven ERP from the market, then it is in his hands that he ensures it is implemented properly. To know which ERP Software can be implemented you can go here.