Red Flags in Your ERP Implementation Process – How to Spot and Fix Them
As we mention often in our blog posts about enterprise resource planning software, it is a complex system designed to help businesses manage their day to day business activities. Those activities include accounting, manufacturing and project management, just to name a few. With a software that essentially helps run a business, the implementation process is crucial.
When implementing ERP software, all businesses hope for a smooth process, and it’s possible to have that so long as research and a watchful eye are always involved. Speaking of being watchful, let’s get into what today’s blog is all about – red flags during the implementation period. Continue reading as we discuss potential causes for concern, how to avoid or fix them during this pivotal process.
Red flag #1: Not Following Your Set Implementation Schedule
No matter the implementer that your business chooses to work with, a set schedule should be put in place in terms of when the implementation process should begin and end. A timeline. Like all schedules, things may be subject to change due to unforeseen occurrences, but any alarming changes in schedules should act as a red flag. Watching over your schedule and making sure that the process moves along at a swimming pace is important. The longer a process like this takes, you may find yourself going over budget – which can also be a cause for concern.
How to avoid it?
The best, and most obvious, way to avoid not sticking to an implementation schedule is to identify any sources of delays and work to eliminate them. Catching small delays can ultimately help you in the long run so it doesn’t gather steam and become a major, unavoidable issue.
Red flag #2: A Lack of Communication
If you have questions to ask your implementer, wanting to schedule an in person or over the phone meeting and find yourself struggling to reach them, not only can be that incredibly frustrating, but it is also a clear sign of trouble. Consistent communication during the implementation process is a necessity. Without that stream of communication, a host of problems could be taking place without your knowledge.
When it comes to implementation, you want to be able to reach out to and hear from your vendor through the telephone and email for any small to large question or request. Depending on the process of your vendors, regularly scheduled meetings to update everyone on the implementation process may even take place. If your vendor doesn’t make themselves available to you as early as the researching stage, it may be best to opt out as early as possible in search of someone who is more receptive.
As we all know, communication is a two way street. It is also important to make yourself/business open to answer any questions your vendors may have for you. Return missed phone calls and emails as soon as you can, lets them know you are invested too.
How to avoid it?
During the research stage, asking potential vendors about their stance on communication can help clear the air. How often do you take part in meetings to discuss the process of the implementation? Do they offer training? Voicing your concerns early, places importance on communicating frequently.
Red flag #3: Frequent Budget Changes
During the implementation process, unexpected moments have the potential to happen. However, a major red flag is when your business finds itself consistently tampering with the budget. If the amount that you are willing to pay continues to grow in size, it may be time to take a step back and reevaluate the process. How much a business is willing to pay for this process and software, shouldn’t move to a point you are not comfortable with and can’t afford.
How to avoid it?
One of the ways to solve any budget issues is to have plan ahead of time and also having a discussion with potential vendors about prices. To best plan ahead, you want to create a list of everything your business needs out of an ERP system. Knowing that, will give you a better idea of how much your business will have to pay out to potential vendors. It is best to not get an ERP software that offers too much or simply not enough, because that is money wasted in two very different ways. It can leave your business in a tight spot if you cannot operate daily business functions with the tools that you have.
During the implementation process, there are things that can go wrong, which is par for the course. Having that knowledge can help you keep a cool head if something happens, but you can also potentially avoid mistakes too by spotting red flags when they’re small. If something about the process isn’t moving according to plan, it is important to say something as soon as you can to help avoid bigger issues down the line.