Thursday, November 11, 2010

ERP Implementation Challenges at Small and Medium Businesses

I have been working on ERP implementation at SMB manufacturers and distributors. I would like to share my experience with you on few challenges I faced during implementation:

  1. Lack of clarity in business process within organization - The first step towards using a system is to know what is expected from it. This can be realized only by having a clear picture of the ongoing business process. Having this clarity can streamline the existing process with ease using the system else will cause difficulties in mapping the processes.  
  2. Resistance to a change in job profiles and role – Buying an ERP brings a lot of changes in the organizational structure of the company. It is very natural to resist change. Roles and permissions need to be defined for the users who might very well not accept the changes in their job profiles willingly. 
  3. Customizations done in a hurry – Customization of any process in a standard product should be done only if it is indispensable. That decision should be made by an organization after a thorough brainstorming among them selves and then with the ERP vendor because I have sometimes seen that after the customization has been done, the client does not see it necessary to use because that process may have been faulty and was not realized before.
  4. Lack of a champion from client side – ERP is a big and crucial product to manage even from the client side. A single point of contact is essential to solve queries internally among users and then forward a concise list of issues to the vendor. This will avoid confusions and miscommunication. A champion from the client end should be trained in all modules thoroughly. 
  5. Lack of business knowledge among users – As per my observation, in most of the companies, there are people who are specifically hired for data entry who have no idea what is the ongoing business of the company. This leads to a difficulty in understanding the system and the objective of using it.
Hope this is useful in planning your next ERP implementation.


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