Mistakes to avoid when selecting software solutions
I have had the opportunity to be in the selection and implementation of MANY supply chain solutions. There were bumps along the way and lessons learned as well. I know some of you think this was in the dinosaur days, but before there were packages to buy, everything was home grown to custom processes and requirements. Often a pitfall was that IT would gather the requirements and disappear while they were building it. Then when it was presented to the business user, it was not really what they wanted. Everyone learned it was an iterative approach and a business lead was a critical component to a successful implementation.
Now there are packages galore and many options for configurations to fit your needs. The price range is also quite wide. One decision to make is whether to get an ‘all in one’ package or ‘best of breed’ and integrate them.
I was reading this article The Top Five Mistakes to Avoid when choosing an ERP solution. It occurred to me that it is true for selection of any software solution. While this is addressing an ERP solution, it applies universally for software section process.
Not Knowing What You Really Need in ERP Software
If you don’t take the time to understand what you need and how this will solve your problems, you will not select the proper toolset. Seems very obvious but many organizations rush into demos and negotiations before they have defined exactly what they need.
Not Recognizing the Uniqueness of Your Business
What processes are critical to your business and makes you unique? On the other side, determine where you are inefficient and could adopt some industry best practices. The software should fit your processes for the most part. If you choose something that requires radical changes, your associates will have a difficult time adjusting to it and the business may suffer.
Not Choosing the Most Qualified ERP Software Vendor
Be careful to find a provider that knows your industry and has some experience with implementations that mirror your business. You want someone who can partner with you and understands your situation. Organizations can get carried away with the ‘big name’ of the software provider or shy away from the price tag. The right fit and a supplier that is with you for the long haul is what you are aiming for.
Not Giving the ERP Software Implementation the Attention it Needs
Sometimes resources assigned to this project are expected to also do their real job. That is a recipe for failure. Projects like this need a strong Project Manager that has the majority of their time on this project. The support from the Senior Executive Team is critical as well. There many components to making sure the resources are aligned and the appropriate training is offered.
Not Investing in ERP Software for the Long-Term
Selecting software and subsequent implementation is an time consuming and expensive process in capital and resources. Select and build your solution for where you want to be, not where you currently are.
Do you have any experiences during a system implementation that you can share with others? What did you learn and how has it changed your future projects?
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