Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation is a complex process requiring significant investment in resources, time and money. An ERP system is designed to help organizations streamline their business processes, increase efficiency and achieve their strategic goals.

However, an ERP implementation can also be challenging, and organizations may face issues such as cost overruns, delayed timelines, and unexpected problems. Around 50% of ERP implementations fail the first time, and over 51-54% of companies experience operational disruption when they go live. Two best practices for ERP implementation success are troubleshooting and optimizing. Here are some tips on troubleshooting and optimizing your ERP implementation and why it is essential not to miss these steps.

ERP Implementation Tips

  1. Prioritize Business Needs: An ERP implementation can go wrong if the project scope does not match the organization's needs, resulting in missed deadlines and budget overruns. One way this can happen is when the scope is too big for the given timeframe, making it hard to finish the project on time and within budget. Another way is scope creep, which happens when new requirements not originally agreed upon are added to the project. These new requirements can cause delays and increase costs, leading to a failed ERP implementation. ERP implementations can be complicated and time-consuming, so it is important to identify your business needs. Focus on areas of the business that will gain the most from the implementation to ensure you are achieving the expected outcomes. It is also important to involve organizational stakeholders to know their needs and priorities.
  2. Identify the Root Cause and the Bottleneck of Your Business: Another cause of ERP implementation failure is bottlenecks in business processes. A bottleneck happens when a certain area has a slow or limited workflow, which causes a pileup or delay. For example, a company may have a bottleneck in its inventory management process, where it cannot meet demand due to ineffective processes or outdated systems. If the company does not fix the ineffective process problem before implementing an ERP system, the new system may not be able to solve the bottleneck. The implementation may worsen the bottleneck as it may not match the existing ineffective process. This can lead to delays, extra costs, and, eventually, a failed implementation. Therefore, organizations must find bottlenecks in their business processes before implementing an ERP system. This way, they can solve the root cause and ensure the new system fits their optimized process. Failing to find and solve bottlenecks can result in a failed implementation, as the system may be unable to deal with underlying process inefficiencies.
  3. Data Migration and Optimize Data Quality: Data migration is moving data from old systems to the new ERP system. It involves determining what data needs to be migrated, getting it out of the old system, changing it to fit the new system's standards, and putting it into the new ERP system.Data migration is vital to ERP implementation as it ensures the new system has complete and correct data for efficient operations. The new system may not work as expected without correct data, causing problems, delays, and bad decision-making. For instance, if an organization sets up an ERP system for financial management and the data used to create financial reports is wrong, this can lead to inaccurate financial statements and poor decisions. Wrong data can also slow down transaction processing, duplicate efforts and lower productivity. Therefore, data migration must be well-planned to reduce data loss, corruption or duplication risks. Data migration also involves finding and fixing data quality issues before migration. This involves checking the data, finding irregularities and cleaning it up to ensure it meets the new system's standards. Organizations can ensure that the new system has high-quality data for efficient operations by dealing with data quality issues before the data is moved. Data migration needs a methodical approach, and it is essential to have a skilled team with data migration expertise to ensure the process is done right.
  4. Provide Adequate Training and Support: ERP systems are complicated and can pose challenges for end-users. They affect the company’s business process and the employee’s attitude and culture, as they need to learn and adjust to a new process and technology. When end users are not involved or clear about their needs, they can create problems for the post-implementation support team when fixing critical issues. It is important to offer sufficient training and support at the start to help users learn how to use the system efficiently. This could include creating training materials, conducting on-site training, or giving support through a help desk or hotline. It is also necessary to have a system for continuous support and maintenance, such as regular updates, patches, and upgrades.

Why Should We Troubleshoot and Optimize ERP Implementation?

There are several reasons why troubleshooting and optimization are not just key ERP implementation best practices but essential in the process:

  1. Adoption: Including the company’s stakeholders early and often enables the end users to take ownership of the new system and adopt the new path forward.
  2. Improved efficiency: Troubleshooting and optimizing an ERP implementation can help improve efficiency by identifying and addressing issues causing delays or errors in business processes.
  3. Increased productivity: By optimizing data quality and providing adequate training and support, end-users can work more efficiently and productively, improving performance and results.
  4. Cost savings: By identifying and addressing issues early on, organizations can avoid costly delays or errors that may impact the bottom line.
  5. Better decision-making: High-quality data and improved efficiency can help to enable better decision-making across the organization, leading to more informed and effective business decisions.
  6. Competitive advantage: A well-optimized ERP system can provide a significant competitive advantage by enabling organizations to operate more efficiently, effectively, and profitably.

Organizations need to focus on change management, business process improvement, and data quality enhancement for a successful ERP implementation. Organizations can lower risks, increase performance, and gain a competitive advantage by addressing business needs, finding the root causes of issues, providing enough training and support, and maintaining data quality.

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Withum can assist and guide you on repairing and optimizing your ERP implementation. Contact us to learn more.