An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system could be THE game-changer for any company. It’s a system that can help gain a competitive edge and profitability, if implemented correctly...

Organizations with failed ERP implementations on their resumes all have one thing in common: They were not prepared. With proper preparation, challenges can be identified and overcome. To that end, here are four frequent ERP mistakes and some quick suggestions on how they can be avoided:

Inadequate planning

Planning is key when undertaking an ERP project. There are so many ERP implementations out there that have failed because of insufficient planning. What’s more, poor planning will disallows businesses from maximizing the benefits that come with a successful ERP implementation.

Inadequate planning often revolve around timelines that are too optimistic and an underestimation of the resources required. A great solution to these problems is to conduct an internal audit, which consists of a full examination and review of all the companies’ processes before deciding which ERP system is the best fit.

This way, you will know exactly what your current situation is and you will be able to discover the exact areas where the new ERP system can be used to bring the most value. In order to ensure that your ERP system works smoothly, one should also take some time to plan out the implementation techniques and set priorities. A strong plan is indeed what you need to overcome the bumps in the road.

Not considering the end-user when making decisions

When it comes to implementing an ERP system, most companies choose to focus on getting approvals from C-level executives. They only invest their time and effort in obtaining permission from leaders, which can be a huge misstep.

Employees across the entire company should be involved in the decision-making process because they are the ones who actually will be using the ERP system. If employee suggestions are not taken into account, it will cause friction later in the implementation.

It’s essential to employ a bottom-up approach and involve key employees and stakeholders from the beginning. They will help you streamline the process by identifying and contributing to the best possible solution-design for the organization.

Not choosing the right ERP vendor

Way too often, companies are amazed by a salesperson’s exaggerated pitch or select their ERP implementation service provider based on the marketing of their product. When the time for implementation comes, organizations are shocked by the various functionality restrictions and lack of capabilities in the system.

Therefore, make sure to conduct due diligence and look for anything out of the ordinary with regards to previous implementations and reviews.

Trying to implement the system in one go

It’s no secret that ERP systems are complex - they require a lot of time, effort, and money. This is why it’s impossible to do everything all at once - determining the implementation-needs, implementing the actual system, training users, going live, and everything in between. It’s the perfect recipe for disaster unless handled diligently.

The best way forward is to take an agile and incremental approach when it comes to ERP implementations, meaning that everything mentioned previously is done in small and iterative steps. The end-user must be involved in each step to achieve a successful implementation.

Final thoughts

Implementing a new ERP system is about learning experiences and overcoming challenges. If you, your team, and the ERP vendor are honest with each other, together you’ll manage to come up with a solid plan and successfully implement the solution.

Pay attention to avoid these mistakes and things should be fine. Try to think about other mistakes that might occur in your case and find solutions. In the end, it’s essential to be in a constant process of learning how to avoid them.