Top 5 ERP Pain Points

One of the most important business systems that almost every company has is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. These are hugely complex software programs that handle everything from employee management to inventory and customer relations, all in real-time. In short, they’re some of the most critical components for a successful business. With that said, each ERP implementation is a large project that absorbs amble time and resources. The process always comes with pain points, some realized more heavily than others depending on the nature of your specific business.

It’s these pain points that can make or break the success of a digital transformation. As you build your digital strategy and evaluate the different ERP tools available to your organization, make sure to mitigate the risk of running into these common pitfalls.

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1. Not trusting your system-generated product costs

To be able to make quick, smart decisions about the future of your organization, you need accurate data now. Not tomorrow. The only way for this information to be readily available is if business processes are harmonized with system configuration and data structures.

2. No clear understanding about who is responsible for what data elements

ERP systems are notoriously tricky to install, which is why it's so important that you have a qualified team of experts at your side. If there isn't a clear understanding of who is responsible for what ERP data elements and how the end-to-end data processes work, much time will be wasted. Wasted time means delayed benefits realization. By clarifying your data ownership and verifying your data processes, you will minimize delays and set yourself up for more seamless data migration.

3. It takes too much effort to generate a complete list of active materials and their descriptions

What are your active materials? - This is a question you’ll want to answer accurately before you even start your digital transformation. If not, then you run the risk of bringing over obsolete material and a flawed demand planning process into an otherwise pristine system.

4. Material naming processes are inconsistent and confusing

There’s nothing that can throw off processes like improperly labeled data points. Organizations are often under the impression that their processes and procedure are efficient when in reality, it’s clouded by simple variations in how materials, products, or services are labeled within a system.

It could be one little mistake or change in material titles that causes all of your staff to stop dead in their tracks. No-one knows what just happened or what they are to do when a curveball is thrown their way, and this can often have devastating effects on a company.

If you find yourself with employees who have been trained for years on how to handle numbers and descriptions from a certain system, then you can count on mistakes being made when that system changes or processes are introduced to a bit more ambiguity. This all plays into a strong organizational change management strategy and will set you up for success through any digital transformation endeavor.

Spend the time and effort to eliminate any potential confusion through education, and build robust processes that make it easy for your organization to use the right data elements in the right way.

5. Identifying which products are the most and least profitable is a significant effort

When you want to analyze the profitability of your products, it's important to make sure that your processes and data structures are in line with physical reality. If they're not, then the analysis will be meaningless. Make sure that you create a plan for success by understanding what your intended outputs are before starting work on any other aspect of the process.

Product profitability analysis is one of the most important sources of business insights that an ERP system can provide, but it’s useless if your processes don’t reflect the tangible truth. Begin with the end in mind and create data structures and business processes that fully support desired outputs.

If you are experiencing these, or other pain points that come along with a digital transformation, our team is here to help. Feel free to reach out to me directly, I’m happy to be an informal sounding board as you work to drive a successful implementation.

Dave Beldyk
Dave is a high-impact leader with deep experience in ERP systems, deployments and optimization. Dave is adept at working with all levels of an organization from C-Level to the shop floor. The backbone of his career has been helping large-scale, complex, manufacturing organizations plan for and execute successful enterprise systems projects.
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