*Updated August 23, 2016.

Implementing a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is a daunting task. Requiring hundreds of thousands of dollars, and countless hundreds of man hours, ERP implementation is an effective way to streamline business operations and cut costs over the years to come. Done properly, it can be a valuable resource. However, making one of the common mistakes below can be nothing short of disastrous.

Today we’re going to explore six common problems and mistakes when performing ERP implementation and how you can correct them or avoid them entirely.

  1. Poor planning. As with anything else, planning must be a high priority when undertaking an ERP implementation project. While planning is important through the entire process, up-front planning is crucial to success. To avoid the risk of failure during your implementation, evaluate all internal processes and policies before starting.
  2. Inaccurate data. If the data collected in mistake number one is inaccurate, you can expect a number of  other problems to follow. If you’re not convinced of your abilities to evaluate your ERP system, do yourself a favor and hire a third-party like Edgeware. Edgeware performs consulting for SYSPRO ERP and Intacct ERP.
  3. Choosing the wrong vendor. All too often companies are quick to make their decision based on the marketing of a product. Be sure to get more information by asking for a list of references of companies that are currently using the product you’re interested in. It’s okay to do your homework to ensure that you choose the right vendor for the job.
  4. Underestimating time frames and cost. This is a common problem that can easily be avoided. An easy way to formulate the amount of time your project will take is to divide the cost of the ERP software by 10. The result will be your rough estimate of man hours required and provide you with a realistic budget for how much this project will cost.
  5. Expecting too much. Unrealistic expectations have been the result of many ERP implementation failures. Be realistic about what you can achieve and how soon you can achieve it and you’ll save yourself a migraine (and thousands of dollars) in the long run. There’s nothing wrong with only doing a little bit at a time.
  6. Neglecting maintenance. You should always include a maintenance strategy with your ERP implementation. As with anything else, if you can’t maintain it, it will inevitably fail or become obsolete. And if that’s the case, why did you even bother to implement a new ERP system in the first place?

Be cautious to avoid these mistakes and you will be on the right path towards a successful ERP implementation.