Deploying a new ERP is a major project. Like any project of this size, teams often come up against a few obstacles. Customisations, technical issues, schedule slippages, budgetary issues: they are numerous. Often forgotten in deployment strategies, employees can also be an obstacle.
Resistance to change, poor appropriation of the new ERP, under-use of the ERP, difficulties in mastering the new processes, etc.: these are all elements likely to have a major impact on the investment made in the acquisition of your new information system.
Focus on the 5 problems encountered when deploying an ERP.
1. Not being in phase with user needs
Many ERP deployment projects are led by IT teams. And, very often, the results delivered are not those expected by the employees because they do not correspond to their “business” needs. To avoid this, it is necessary to know how the end user will interact with the ERP, what processes they will do etc.
Matt Schuval, CEO of ERP consulting and implementation firm, Datix explains that “Your implementation team should design system processes with the actual end user in mind and how they interact with the software, not just the report that will be produced at the end.”
2. Resistance to change
There is a common misconception that new information systems deployed are easily adopted by users because they are more intuitive, more ergonomic and designed in the best possible way. However, many users find it difficult to get used to and work with their new ERP. “Humans like their routine, and they can be resistant to new software that will take them out of that,” says Matt Schuval.
To overcome this obstacle, it is essential to involve employees in the company’s strategy. You have to set an example for them, convince them, seduce them and, above all, support them. “To remedy this resistance, executive sponsors need to be thoroughly involved in onboarding and holding people accountable to training goals.”
3. Lack of information & communication
When an ERP project is implemented, many changes take place. Changes that affect all departments of the company: project team, IT, business etc. It is not uncommon for these departments to have difficulty communicating, passing on information and exchanging information in a timely manner. This leads to serious problems in the progress of the project.
To avoid this, it is necessary to exchange and communicate: where is the project at? why? what are the next steps? what is the deadline? etc.
Steve Cox, group vice president of ERP and EPM product marketing at Oracle explains: “Explain the business goals as a whole, and explain how these goals may individually affect each department (…) Organizations should be as specific as possible, painting the picture for employees on how ERP solutions will enhance their role, day-to-day activities, and overall company worth.”
4. Lack of training
Supporting and training employees in the implementation of a new ERP system should be a key point. It is not just a matter of training them to use the new tool. It is also a question of training them in new uses. Indeed, having invested considerable sums in the acquisition of an ERP, it is unthinkable to fail in training employees. In this case, the consequences are dramatic: rejection of the tool by users, under-use of the ERP, misuse of the ERP, data entry errors, increase in the number of calls to support, etc.
This training and support phase is therefore essential!
4. Lack of time
One of the last obstacles encountered when it comes to bringing users on board is time. “Getting the go-live timing right can be difficult,” notes Schuval. “Many companies elect not to implement during a busy time of year due to lack of resource availability, but then they end up trying to go live right before or during that busy season.”
Have you encountered any of these obstacles?