By Adam Stead – Content Marketing, Global App Testing
Of the many business solutions an organisation could invest in, ERP is arguably amongst the most worthwhile. In fact, 95% of businesses reported that after using ERP they saw improvements such as reducing process times, increasing collaboration, and centralising enterprise data.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a type of software used by organisations to manage day-to-day business activities such as payroll, procurement, supply chain operations and project management. It collects and manages data from business activities. Systems and processes are shared across various divisions, with an effective ERP system enhancing an organisation’s efficiency.
ERP has numerous benefits, but many companies come across hurdles when implementing an ERP solution. Lack of preparation, ineffective communication with users, and lack of proper testing are just some of the reasons that your ERP project might not be having the outcome you desire.
Read on for five tips to failure-proof your ERP project and avoid these crucial mistakes:
As with any major project, the implementation of ERP requires careful planning and preparation. Without it, the process will likely be unsuccessful and costly.
Don’t fall into the trap of taking a top-down only approach. Ensure all members of your organisation are involved in the planning process. A good place to start is to involve the end user of the system. Ask them what processes are involved in their day-to-day tasks and if they’re currently able to perform them effectively. If not, how can this be improved?
A recent survey found that just 25% of employees are using their ERP systems. If they had more input into what the system looked like, they just might be more likely to actually use it!
The planning process also needs to take into account wider business goals and desired outcomes. How does the ERP project fit into the business strategy? How will it help the business achieve targets and objectives going forward?
Effective communication throughout the process of ERP implementation will be a key contributing factor to its success. Leaders should communicate with employees at all levels of the organisation to ensure everyone is clear on expectations, goals and accessibility.
Everyone in the organisation should be clear on what’s happening, why it’s happening, and what the benefits will be for the company as a whole, but also them as an employee. Employees will be more likely to buy-in to something new (and change their old habits) if they’ve been involved in the process.
Before launching (or re-launching) an ERP system, it’s essential to test its effectiveness. In a recent report, one of the top hurdles cited when implementing ERP was lack of effective testing. CEOs and CIOs should be confident that the ERP system is effective before launching it across the organisation, and rigorous testing is one way to increase that confidence.
Not sure where to start? Look at this Global App Testing automated testing guide for everything there is to know about automated software testing.
A well thought out and effective onboarding and training programme can be the difference between a successful ERP launch and an unsuccessful one.
Users need to know how to use the ERP system, and need support when they inevitably come across problems. You could even consider using a Digital Adoption Platform to provide users with guidance such as walk-through videos, in-app tips and customised training.
Fairly quickly after ERP implementation, highlight successes and difficulties in order to evaluate and adapt where necessary.
An effective ERP project will be a huge investment for the organisation, and as a CEO or CIO you’ll want to ensure you’re seeing a return on investment. Don’t just assume that after planning, testing and launching ERP that everything will run smoothly.
ERP software will also need to adapt to changing business needs or market trends. For example, you may need to consider what to do in case of a recession. Early and regular evaluation will ensure ERP is fit for purpose and ROI is high.
You know the benefits that effective ERP software can deliver to your organisation and now you can take five key steps to ensuring success.
If you ensure adequate planning, effective communication, rigorous testing, appropriate support and regular opportunities to evaluate, you’re sure to failure-proof your ERP project.