An enterprise resource planning system like Microsoft's Dynamics NAV is a complex program that requires many moving pieces to work simultaneously, including the software, the employees working on it, the vendor and the warehouse inventory. The system can take months, even years to properly implement. With so many variables involved, managers need to ensure every contingent aspect is aligned and working perfectly to keep the program operating to its fullest potential. When the certain aspects break down or fail, it can put a wrench in the enterprise's entire operation, causing delays, a dip in productivity and a loss of sales.
Managers should avoid these common mistakes to effectively roll out and implement the ERP system:
1. Leaving the system to IT
Because it's a computer program, many business executives leave it up to the IT department to select and implement the system. However, according to CFO.com, ERP is a business tool, not an IT toy. While the IT department should definitely have a say in the selection and implementation process, managers should ensure first and foremost the system is primarily used for the business side of operations.
2. Failure to properly train employees
This is perhaps one of the biggest mistakes a manager can make in terms of ERP implementation. While a company may have one project champion who understands the system inside and out, being too reliant upon one person to decipher and interpret the program is a recipe for disaster. Many long-time employees may resist learning a new system or incorporating a different business model, but with a systematic and progressive series of training cycles, managers can gradually introduce the new program, which will ideally be accepted over time.
3. Not having information centrally located
According to e2bEnterprise, workers who cannot find the information they need can spend up to 40 percent of their time trying to locate the necessary data and still not find it. Managers should store all the information in one central location, either in the cloud or an easily accessible folder, and inform the entire team where this data is kept. This way all the employees are on the same page when it comes to locating the desired information quickly and efficiently.
4. Not standardizing the ERP platforms
Since many enterprises utilize multiple operating systems, not having a homogenous platform for the ERP system can cause problems with integration, storage and data migration. Standardizing the cross-platform usability for the ERP system means the program will work no matter what device or operating system an employee is using to access the system.
5. Not adequately testing the system's capacity
Just because an employee managed to successfully migrate the complete data sets into the ERP system, it doesn't necessarily mean the system is ready to handle a complete workload. Managers should load test a complete system from start to finish before giving the OK that the ERP is ready to go live.