Your company was ready. The enterprise resource planning (ERP) project had been approved, and it was going to solve problems while increasing productivity and profit.
Months later the company is facing ERP failure because the system still hasn’t gone live. No one has an answer, the budget is blown, the pressure is building, and everyone is going to suffer the effects.
What can a company do to overcome ERP failure? Everyone involved needs to take a step back, review the issues, and work collaboratively to recover the process.
Here are five ways to recover from a failed ERP implementation:
1. Expand the timeline. Underestimating how long it will take to implement an ERP implementation system is common. Remember that ERP is a massive undertaking, and milestones may take longer to reach. Give the project breathing room, it reduces pressure and allows everyone to proceed with a clear head.
2. Examine the budget. Tight economic times may have forced you to miscalculate the budget, and if funds become tight, your contractors and consultants might not be able to proceed. When you retool the budget, remember that ERP is an investment, and if it fails, you won’t recover the funds already spent.
3. Is customization necessary? ERP implementation failure often results from demanding too much tailoring– even before the software has been activated! Lessen the demands for customizations, and trust in the original software and hardware to perform as advertised.
4. Buy-in is invaluable. Fear of change is a major reason for ERP failure. Employees who don’t want to deviate from their routines cause friction and roadblocks that lead to missed deadlines and blown budgets. Gain their buy-in by explaining how the new ERP will make their jobs easier, and the company more profitable.
5. The right staff. An ERP implementation can fail if there aren’t enough employees on board to handle the changes. Recruiting staff with the right skill sets and knowledge makes transition easier – they also function as on-site trainers for other employees who may be confused by the new systems.
ERP failure doesn’t have to signify the end of a project – it merely requires everyone to review the process, and make the right change.