An ERP suite can be extremely complex, and if you’re going to adopt one into your business, there are multiple common mishaps and mistakes you’re likely to make if you’re not prepared. This article will try to warn you about those missteps and help you successfully and effectively adopt this useful technology.
#1 Not Adapting Business Processes to New Technology:
It’s very tempting to take existing business processes as they are and just automate them with ERP systems. And while this might give you a temporary boost in productivity, it is by no means the most effective way to make use of those systems. Many businesses fail to familiarize themselves with the ERP workflow, design, and advantages and go on running their business the same way they’ve always done.
Once you decide on a new ERP system, you must take a step back and carefully look at your business, its long-term goals, and high-level processes, and you should try to rethink them to fit your new model. However, it is quite hard to get everything right at first, and all the changes you implement must be quantifiable to know what works and what doesn’t.
#2 Lacking Competent Staff to Run the System:
Even when you have the best and most expensive system, if you don’t have the staff to run it competently, it won’t really benefit your system. While most new tech systems are easy to use on the surface, you still need a lot of technical knowledge and competence to effectively run such a large system.
Especially if you’re in industries like construction and manufacturing, employees with extensive tech skills are rather rare, and when you adopt a system so central to the whole business. That’s why software companies who develop ERP software for the construction industry try their best to create something accessible and easy to use. However, you still have to ameliorate these issues from your side as well:
- By training existing employees and making sure they are knowledgeable enough to effectively deal with the software. If the company that created the software you’re interested in provides such training, considering that it won’t be a bad option.
- If you don’t think your existing employees will be capable of handling the new responsibility or you’re already experiencing a shortage in labour, you should consider hiring employees that have extensive experience dealing with such systems.
#3 Not Using Your Industry-Based Systems:
Whenever possible, you must use technologies created specifically for the sector you are in. While there are some big names in the ERP world, those programs are really general and are created to work with many different industries. While this flexibility can sometimes translate into an advantage, it is in fact much more likely that the general nature of the systems means that you can’t adopt them to your specific business needs, and you’ll suffer competitive disadvantages in the long run.
You shouldn’t forget that there are many software firms that create highly specialized ERP for a small company that is made for various niches and specific markets- search for such a firm that works in your niche, and it’s likely you’ll get a system that’s not only cheaper, but is also much more compatible with your business.
#4 Not Having Backup Plans:
Having a system that most of your business operations rely on and not coming up with some backup plans is a recipe for disaster. ERP systems centralize many processes and make communication and management much quicker and more efficient, but there’s a caveat that you need to deal with, and that’s high centralization. Small errors can snowball into big damage to your business. You can take steps to ensure everything works smoothly and have some contingency plans in case they don’t:
- Make sure the people who run and maintain the system are competent and regularly assess the performance and quality of the software. Quickly identifying weaknesses and bottlenecks will ensure you avoid larger disasters later on.
- Make sure you have an emergency system in place to adequately respond to system-breaking bugs and issues. These might make your business stop operating for days and cause you to lose a lot of money, so it is important to know how to deal with them beforehand.
- Keep backups and other safety measures to always be ready to operate on backup software and processes when you know fixing the issues with the ERP system will take too long.