January 25, 2019
Why is it so hard to implement ERP? For nearly half a century, businesses have been deploying some iteration of this software—material requirements planning (MRP) software in the 1960s, manufacturing resources planning (MRP-II) in the 70s and 80s to a wide variety of options today—yet the same question still gets asked.
Despite how standardized the processes, the statistics are still demoralizing: Up to 75% of implementation projects fail to return the value promised. Add to this the rash of headlines that pop up in the event of a high profile failure and it’s enough to strike fear in some. However, it takes a special kind of value proposition for a company to take such a risk—and for many companies the reward is worth it.
There are many reasons that companies like yours make the leap, and in the coming months, we will explore some of the decisions you will need to make and things to avoid if you want to get it right.
There is a lot to learn from ERP failure horror stories, many of which read the same as they did a decade ago. From mismanaged expectations to poorly documenting needs to what can only be described as end user mutiny, over the next few months, we will explore different reasons why ERP implementations get derailed and discuss a way to overcome it.
Imagine the process. You make the decision to upgrade, get backing from the board, choose the vendor and partner, and get down to business. Only problem? You completely ignored the people who will be using the software.
Change is hard, ERP changes are stressful, and no one likes to have something thrown upon them. Knowing this, over the 3-12 months or more that it takes to complete an ERP implementation, you’re bound to have brushback, dissent, or anger.
Improperly handled, a decision to change ERP software without the right communication, change management, or project leadership could result in anything from users refusing to use a software to shadow IT to staff resignations. Just imagine the following scenarios:
Leading your organization through an ERP implementation requires your business to have the right people on board and the right communication initiatives in place to keep morale high, make people feel like their input matters, and ultimately lead your company through the complexities that will come up.
Major business decisions can’t be made in a bubble. Without communication, input, or leadership, the project already starts on shaky ground, destined to fail if a department doesn’t feel adequately represented or informed. To address this, you need to build a team including someone who can take charge of the project, team or department representatives who can answer“what is it exactly we need?,” and other members who we will discuss below:
Your project team should have adequate representation from all areas of the business – engineering, materials, production, finance, customer service, etc. in addition to IT. Notable members of this team include:
System implementation is always a team effort. Get as many people involved in the project as early as possible – prior to and during system selection – so they feel like they have a stake in the system, a sense of “ownership.”
Those not directly involved should also be able to follow along as the project proceeds, so there is less fear of change or fear of the unknown to dull their anticipation of the availability of these new business management tools.
At Milestone Information Solutions, we’ve been in this business long enough to know how to help you make it through an implementation with as little brushback or attrition as possible. Get to know more about theERP implementation process by downloading the Acumatica Guide, Navigating the ERP Implementation process here, read testimonials, and contact us to learn more about how we can help.
January 25, 2019