How to Avoid ERP Implementation Failure

An ERP system can improve the daily operations of any business — that is, if you do it right. However, ERP installation is a complex and often daunting process. Many companies fall prey to the same typical ERP implementation mistakes, which can cause the project to fail or be less successful than expected.

ERP implementation mistakes can cost your company money, time, workforce, and growth opportunities. The financial and cultural well-being of the entire company is on the line, and the costs of failure range from disruptive to disastrous. You must tread carefully.

We’ve already taken a look at the most common ERP implementation failure reasons. Now, let us go over the steps you can take to minimize risk and make your ERP project implementation journey as smooth as possible.

Articulate and endorse the company’s vision

Integrating any ERP system is always a challenging task, so no wonder many companies face ERP implementation failures. Yet, the key thing to bear in mind – the clearer vision you have, the more organized your processes will be. Determining the best idea for your organization can guide decision-makers throughout the entire implementation process. This will not only help you choose the right ERP system but also get more clarity and confidence in the project’s success and gain the much-needed buy-in from the stakeholders. 

Wondering if Odoo is the right ERP solution for your business? Contact us to discuss your project.

Get your ducks in a row

A successful ERP implementation requires a phased approach, with discovery and planning being the first stage of the process. Start with developing a clear picture of how you will benefit from ERP system implementation. For each phase of the ERP deployment, include a comprehensive change management and communication plan. Please spend some time to understand what you want to achieve, why you need to achieve it, and what you expect the system to deliver to your business.

Establish a proper project structure

Before you decide to implement ERP, be it Odoo or any other ERP system, it is necessary to ensure full project visibility from the outset. Determine the resources needed to support the project, not only at the beginning, but also during the scaling process. Keep an eye open for opportunities as they arise and develop a plan to handle potential problems.

Make sure to understand and leverage existing business structures, and establish roles and responsibilities for the project. This includes roles and responsibilities for the risk escalation process in order to deal with any issues that may arise throughout the project. Also, establish communication points to ensure that discussions  go as smoothly as possible.

Engage everyone as much as possible

Spend time upfront to make certain that everyone in your organization is aware of the level of commitment needed of all parties involved. Let people know why the change is needed and how they will benefit from it. Leaders, especially in those parts of the organization that are likely to be affected, need to cascade the message down to employees.

By way of example, let’s look at Odoo, the ERP system our team specializes in. Odoo provides a possibility to manage access rights for users (company members at different levels, as well as clients, partners, or vendors outside of the company) based on their roles in the organization and their operational activities. These are the people who will be interacting with Odoo on a daily or as-needed basis. Thus, it makes sense to engage them in discussions and decisions about the features they may need in the system. This way, you can make certain that all operational processes go as smoothly and fast as possible for each Odoo user.

Choose the right ERP system implementation partner

Finding the right ERP implementation partner is a key component of your success.

A good ERP implementation partner understands your business and delivers the system which meets your company’s needs and objectives. They can guide you through the entire implementation process, recommend the best practices for your industry, and oversee all the key factors that contribute to the success of your ERP implementation.

Are you ready to have Odoo implemented the right way?

Contact us to schedule a demo and discuss your business needs today!

Remove potential barriers

Determine who else in your company will support and appreciate the change; they will be key in removing roadblocks to success. Communicate the implementation process and timeline for the change so that everyone is informed of their responsibilities. Make sure that the project’s leaders are aware of and fully understand the project’s aim and potential rewards. Conduct cross-functional discussions with leaders early on to develop a shared knowledge of the project, its goals, and possible bottlenecks, as well as the specific roles for everyone involved.

Understand your existing business culture

You need to know the past to understand the present and to shape the future. Understanding the existing work environment and how it has reacted to change in the past will help you map out the implementation process and design a course of action to succeed.

Well organized warehouse after ERP implementation

Identify, address, and mitigate unexpected impacts

You will never get everything perfect the first time. Problems can arise at any time — you need to keep your expectations in check during the go-live phase. What you can do is to prepare yourselves to take action and raise your game when challenges arise. Make sure that the project team is well equipped to handle problems.

Also, make sure that every ERP user remains confident in the team’s capabilities. Let everyone know that, while issues will arise, the project team is well equipped to handle those issues. Provide your team with feedback mechanisms that go both ways; this way, they’ll be able to report discrepancies and learn when to expect fixes. Encourage engagement from end users and welcome them to suggest improvements. For your employees, a sense of confidence and empowerment can go a long way.

Bottom line

Businesses, large or small, can’t risk having major initiatives fail. The consequences of failure are many and harsh: time and money gone to waste, resources spent for no gain, damage to the company culture, and employee dissatisfaction, among other things. You need to make sure controls are effectively designed and applied. If you’re planning an ERP implementation, it’s critical that you understand the anticipated rewards and challenges. The process is time consuming and complicated, but if you know where to look, you can save money and gain efficiency all the way down the line. Plan carefully, and you’ll be able to avoid pitfalls and gradually enhance your project’s chances of success, both in the near term and in the long run.