What Are the Challenges of Implementing an ERP System?

A graphic illustrating the challenges of implementing an ERP system

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are increasingly popular for growing companies that want to bring all their business activity together in one location.

Instead of relying on multiple pieces of software for different business functions and spreadsheets overloaded with too many tabs, companies are shifting their thinking to embrace ERPs.

However, migrating to an ERP system is a big lift. It will require tremendous buy-in throughout your company or organization. For example, if you are migrating from QuickBooks to an ERP system such as Oracle NetSuite ERP to support accounting, you will need to ensure your accounting team buys in.

For business owners and managers, you probably have specific questions like, “What are the challenges of implementing an ERP system?” We’re here to answer this question and provide additional guidance on the migration journey.

5 Challenges of Implementing an ERP System

We will break down our list of challenges implementing an ERP system into five common situations that companies encounter.

1. Updating Processes

ERP systems are designed to introduce automation and create efficiencies. However, many employees in your company are accustomed to their manual processes to create, share, and store information. Your team might be accustomed to this type of workflow:

  • Receive information from a customer in one piece of software.
  • Drop the data into a spreadsheet for one of your business units to utilize.
  • Record the transition in a second piece of software.
  • Communicate the steps taken in a third piece of software.

ERP systems can replace each manual process by synchronizing activity amongst teams in your company or organization. But employees will need more time to give up the manual processes they are comfortable with.

Employees should receive training and coaching on new processes to solve this challenge. They will need to be encouraged that the new procedures are designed to simplify their daily activities, not make things more difficult.

2. Transferring Data

Data migration is one of the most challenging steps in implementing an ERP system. When we help clients migrate from their previous software tools to a single ERP system, we spend considerable time on data migration. There are several critical steps involved in our data migration strategy:

  • Assess the state of data in each software tool.
  • Analyze the quality of the data.
  • Create a roadmap for data migration to the new ERP system.
  • Cleanse the data that will be migrated.
  • Remove data that will not be migrated.
  • Perform the data migration.
  • Validate the data that was migrated.
  • Check that the data migration process is fully complete.

3. Satisfying Timelines

You may have a specific timeline for implementing an ERP system. Your company may be taking on larger projects that require better coordination between business units, accounting, and finance. You need to ensure these projects go smoothly, so you are depending on the new ERP system to be ready in time to support your growth needs.

It will be difficult to meet specific timelines going at it alone. That’s why working with a team of ERP implementation experts who can help you overcome this challenge is essential.

For example, the Finlyte team will work to understand your business need, understand your project timeline, and create a roadmap for success.

Our solution could be implementing the ERP in stages. We’ll address immediate needs, then come back to implement additional modules at a later time. Or, we may have other solutions that make sense in your situation.

The bottom line is that our experts can quickly identify the right solution that fits your timeline.

4. Training Your Team

As mentioned before, your employees will need to buy into the ERP transition. You won’t get the most out of the system if some teams are in the new sandbox while others are still hanging onto their manual processes in the old sandbox.

We often hear from companies that they experience challenges getting everyone up to speed on using a new ERP system. We understand that managing people dynamics can be complicated. We all have our ways of doing things, which is why we recommend providing training tailored to the needs of each person and team. Some examples of our training support include:

  • Group training with individual business units and teams.
  • User training for employees who will be utilizing the ERP system the most.
  • Additional training for new hires or contractors who need to learn the system.

5. Supporting the ERP System After Implementation

You may be concerned about whether the ERP system will continue performing as advertised following implementation. Perhaps you’ve dealt with vendors in the past who sold you a piece of software and then were hard to track down for follow-up support.

It’s a real challenge. You don’t want to invest time, cost, and resources into implementing an ERP system only to have it not work correctly months or years down the road.

That’s why we recommend working with our team to ensure that your ERP system always operates in tip-top shape according to your requirements. We offer dedicated post-go-live support throughout the duration of our relationship with your company to optimize the system and increase performance.

Have Other Questions About the Challenges of Implementing an ERP System?

Migrating to an ERP system is a big transition for many companies. We want you to be completely confident and comfortable with the change.

You may have other questions besides understanding what the challenges are of implementing an ERP system. We’re here to provide you with answers. Our team will listen to your questions, understand your situation, and offer expert guidance.

For example, we recommend that our customers migrate to the best-in-class Oracle NetSuite ERP platform. We provide NetSuite ERP Evaluation Consulting to see if the platform is the best fit for your company. If not, we can provide you with other recommendations.

Our team is available to discuss your current interest in migrating to an ERP system. Contact us today to discuss your situation and find answers.