How familiar does this scenario sound: you’re creating an ERP implementation strategy, and someone suggests that end user training should be included. Someone else says, “That’s going to cost money. What do we get out of it?”
It might seem like a no-brainer to offer end user training as part of your ERP implementation, but it’s still necessary to make a business case for it. Read on to learn the benefits of providing this training to end users so that your ERP implementation delivers the highest ROI possible.
It’s no secret that ERP implementations fail. In fact, Gartner Research estimates that between 55 to 75 percent of all ERP implementation projects fail. Even if you think that the latter number is a bit high, the thought that over half of these projects may be considered a failure is quite frightening. Not only that, but it is something that you may find yourself having to recover from.
We have talked quite a bit about steps you can take to help prevent your implementation project from failing, but what if you are one of those who are looking around knowing that your ERP solution isn’t working for you? If your organization has come to terms with the fact that you are dealing with a failed implementation, then its time to start planning a comeback. The following steps will get you started on the road to recovery.
Your team has done all the research and realized it is time for a new ERP solution. The business case is made, the right application has been selected and you’ve communicated the benefits to everyone in your organization. With all of this, buy in shouldn’t be an issue right?
Unfortunately, too many people think this way only to realize late in the game that the end-users, or even management, don’t readily accept the change in the way things are done. Without employee buy-in, your project stands a good chance of falling flat. So what can you do to get people to adopt change and champion the new ERP solution?
A fit-gap analysis is a vital part of selecting and successfully implementing an ERP software solution. Without knowing where the software complements existing processes and, even more importantly, where there are gaps between requirements and functionality, the risk of a failed ERP implementation rises dramatically. Organizations can take different approaches to a fit-gap analysis, including brainstorming, questionnaire-based inquiry, and simulation.
When you are sitting through a demo of your new ERP solution, the sales engineer or sales person walking you through makes everything look really easy. That’s their job after all. Often times, they make things look so easy that customers assume that their end-users will be able to catch on quickly so money isn’t spent on adequate training. Anyone who has seen this scenario knows that it is laying the groundwork for failure. That is why it is so important that your partners in this project understand just how important training your users is.
When you are reaching out to possible consultants to serve as your implementation partner, you should spend a good deal of time talking about training your users. If they never bring it up, you are with the wrong partner. When they do address the topic, here are some things you should expect from them.
Failure is a very real concern when it comes to implementing an ERP solution, which is why it can take some enterprises up to a year to choose the right software. So when a company is faced with the reality that they may have made a mistake in choosing their current ERP software, it can be sure to cause some turbulence. Despite this, when it is clear that your ERP solution isn’t performing up to your expectations your need to make a case for looking to another solution. Sometimes, it is rather easy to see that you need to turn to a different vendor for your ERP needs.
Just a short while ago, most businesses feared the cloud. Concerns grew surrounding security and data exposure because people couldn’t fathom the idea of having someone else control the servers where sensitive information was stored. But then the early adopters started evangelizing the benefits they were seeing from moving to the cloud. There were cost savings, productivity increases and ironically, an increase in security. These benefits, and more, carry over to a cloud-based ERP solution as well. However, just because someone else sees something as a benefit doesn’t mean it will automatically equate to a successful implementation on your part. In order to ensure success in the cloud, you have to set the right goals for your project.
Upgrading to a new version of ERP software is no small task. In fact, many of the challenges facing an upgrade are the same challenges an organization faces when implementing a new an ERP system. Given the magnitude of these challenges, an organization should, in some ways, take the same measures that it would take when first selecting and implementing ERP software. Here are some things to keep in mind.
One of the keys to a successful ERP implementation is to have buy-in from management and the users alike. However achieving buy-in isn’t as easy as going around asking people if they would like a new ERP solution. In some organizations, you have to really work to get people on board for such a time-consuming, costly project. If you take the right steps, and have help from your team, buy-in shouldn’t be an issue and you will be well on your way to kicking off your ERP implementation.
No one should believe that an ERP application is a plug and play solution. Because no organization is alike, you simply can’t purchase and ERP software package and install it without taking things outside of the box, no matter what your vendor may have sold you on. An ERP solution’s benefits are seen through improved visibility into the different areas of your organization. With this information at hand, decision makers have access to data that will not only help them make better choices, but make decisions in a more timely fashion to help keep your business on track and competitive. However to see all of these benefits, you have to be willing to see how your ERP solution can branch out.