Enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions are designed to help businesses manage their resources more efficiently. However, implementing an ERP can be a daunting task for any business—especially a midsize company with fewer resources and less specialized expertise than a large organization.
Here are seven of the most common challenges that businesses face when implementing ERP software:
1. Choosing the Right ERP Solution
The first challenge is choosing the right ERP solution for your business. With so many options available on the market, including the Business ByDesign SAP solution, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you.
In general, there are two main types of ERP solutions: on-premise and cloud-based. On-premise ERP solutions are installed on your company’s servers, while cloud-based solutions are hosted by ERP providers. Each type of solution has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to do your research to see which one would be a better fit for your company.
Most ERP solutions are designed to be flexible and customizable, so they can be adjusted to meet the specific needs of each business. However, customization can be a challenge because it requires in-depth knowledge of the ERP system and how it works. It is also important to ensure that the customization does not impact the stability or performance of the system.
To overcome this issue, it's best to choose an ERP solution that's pre-designed and tailored to your industry. You can learn more about one of the most popular platforms designed for midsize companies in our post on what SAP Business ByDesign is.
3. Integrating ERP With Existing Systems
Another common challenge is integrating the ERP system you choose with your company’s existing systems. This can be a complex and time-consuming process because you will need to ensure that all of your data is transferred correctly and that there is no loss of information. It is also important to test the integration thoroughly before going live, so you can avoid any disruptions to your business operations.
4. Training Employees on the New System
Once you have chosen and implemented your ERP solution, you will need to train your employees on how to use it. This can be a challenge because employees may not be familiar with the new system and can be resistant to change. Providing adequate training is essential to ensure that your employees can use the system effectively and efficiently as quickly as possible.
5. Data Migration
Another challenge that businesses face when implementing an ERP system is data migration. This is the process of transferring data from your old system to the new ERP platform. If this process is not handled with care, your new ERP system could essentially become useless. The ultimate goal of an ERP solution is to manage accurate and up-to-date data in one place—something that can only be achieved if data migration is done correctly.
Security is another important consideration when migrating data to a new system. You need to make sure that all of the data is secure at all times and that only authorized users have access to it.
6. Ownership Cost
While the initial purchase of an ERP system can be a financial burden for many businesses—especially small and midsize businesses—the real challenge is the total ownership cost which includes the costs of hardware, software, implementation, customization, training, and support.
When considering an ERP solution, it is important to take into account all of the potential costs so you choose a solution that won’t overly stretch your business financially.
7. Keeping the System Going Post-implementation
Once you have successfully implemented your ERP system, it is important to maintain it and keep it up to date. This includes ensuring all data is accurate and current, as well as that the system is properly configured. It is also important to train new employees on how to use the system, especially if they will use it daily as part of their job.
One way to overcome this challenge is to work with an ERP vendor that can provide continuous support and maintenance. Being adequately prepared can come in very handy in case the ERP implementation within your company doesn’t go as planned–be sure to check out our recent post on recovering from failed ERP implementation for more information.