Congratulations! You are the executive chosen to spearhead the effort to select and implement a new ERP system to replace the one that your organization originally installed a number of years ago. As you plan for this project, you may find it helpful to know what others in your position have experienced so you know what to anticipate and can craft a better plan to unstick the existing ERP system.
Reluctance to change.
You may meet with resistance on many fronts. You may find that employees and managers prefer to stick with the current system. The reasons may vary from those who say that change is unnecessary because the current system works just fine to those who may feel that change is disruptive to the organization. Others may recall difficulties encountered with the past implementation and may not wish to repeat them. Engaging members of your organization in the decision-making process is a great way to counteract stickiness.
Current business processes of your organization.
Are current business processes up to date with your organization’s present and near-term objectives? A way to examine whether the new ERP system is in-line with these objectives, is to survey personnel who will be working with the new system to incorporate their ideas. Another is to work with management to find out how they feel the current system is working and where they would make improvements. If a new ERP system is perceived to improve business performance and be in-line with best practices, the organization should be more receptive to change.
Current ERP system is integrated with other enterprise-wide systems.
Naysayers will raise issues about software applications integrated with ERP causing concern about the effort to implement a new system. If the current system has certain customizations that also will be cause for concern. A well- organized implementation that is carefully thought out in advance can dispel those fears.
Training employees on the new ERP system is time consuming and takes them away from getting their jobs done.
This could be a potential show-stopper especially coming from executive level managers who feel employees already have a heavy workload. Employees themselves may feel over-burdened further adding to resistance. Planning and facilitating a phased-in approach to system implementation and training can help overcome these objections to change.
Cost of new software is too expensive. Change is expensive to organization.
Company executives may not want to spend their budget on new software, citing preferences for spending money on more pressing priorities. They may also voice concerns about costs related to the implementation of a new ERP system, citing additional hardware costs and employee downtime. A good way to handle these concerns is to carefully budget for the new software purchase including associated costs.
Integrate mobile devices with your ERP system.
Your existing ERP system most probably does not integrate with mobile devices. Many employees, especially those working in the field, want to access the ERP system using smartphones or tablets. This integration becomes a selling point to unstick your organization’s present system.
As you undertake this important project, anticipate what makes your organization’s ERP system sticky, then plan your approach accordingly.
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KATHY MULCAHY | Sr. Sales Executive
In her role as Senior Business Development Executive, Kathy establishes and leads new business sales strategies while building and cultivating client relationships. She uses her extensive technology products and services sales experience to help organizations locate the right technology solution to more effectively and efficiently manage their business operations. Her experience includes working with government contractors and federal agencies in the areas of software, information technology, professional services, and telecommunications. Kathy holds a Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Rhode Island College.