ERP solutions have heralded a new era of manufacturing where quality is improved, waste is reduced, inventory is limited and scheduling and delivery is predictable and reliable.
Except when it’s not.
Unfortunately for some manufacturers, the old adage about ERP deployments as a necessary but painful experience, is true.
In fact, one of our clients approached us for help after investing eight years in an ERP implementation that never worked properly.
There are a multitude of potential pitfalls when analyzing, evaluating and implementing an ERP solution. Here are the four major signs of an ERP implementation gone wrong.
1. The Implementation Team is over extended
When a team is easily distracted and not focused on the task at hand, it usually indicates a project that lacks support from the executive level. A high-performing team requires the right people, with executive buy-in and support, and decision-making power to get the job done.
It must have a thorough understanding of the scope of the implementation and access to the resources dedicated to seeing it fulfilled.
2. Organizational Change Management isn’t Addressed
An organization that doesn’t execute a business process transformation strategy and only focuses on day-to-day operations will not be able to optimize business processes and take full advantage of the enterprise technology solution.
Organizational change management involves communication, training, user readiness, support and fosters understanding of the change. It focuses on the people aspect of change and without this essential component most implementations won’t achieve what they’re capable of.
3. The Future State isn’t Adequately Envisioned
Some companies don’t contemplate and map what the future state of the enterprise looks like. They assume – even though adopting a new ERP solution – work processes won’t change from the way they have always done it.
An analysis on the current state and the desired future state is critical to defining success and achieving the ROI that makes the investment in time and money worth the investment and effort.
4. Data Conversion isn’t Considered
A critical component to a successful implementation is defining ownership and management of the various data resources. Manufacturers should ask: Who owns the data, where is it, how do
we clean it up, how can we consolidate and eliminate duplication, how can we get real-time data anytime/anywhere for better informed decision-making?
If those worst case scenarios describe your company’s challenges with a successful implementation then some retrospection is required to determine if the solution can be successfully implemented or if a new approach from scratch is what’s called for.
A fresh approach will assess necessary business process transformation, clearly define the desired future state and focus on business process mapping in key functional areas.
A more strategic approach will ensure proper alignment to the expectations of management, improved team efficiency and faster ROI for the project.
Identifying the appropriate ERP solution for your enterprise and understanding the scope of the work necessary to achieve the desired future state will help avoid the dreaded failed ERP implementation and avoid starting over.
About Jeff Carr Jeff Carr is the founder of Ultra Consultants, an independent research and enterprise technology section consulting firm serving the manufacturing and distribution industries.