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Why Do Most ERP Implementations Take So Long To Complete?

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An ERP implementation may take long time than expected due to a number reasons such as the inefficiency of the team members, not having a dedicated team for implementation from the client's side, regular customizations, the organization business plan changes too frequently, not devoted enough budget for the project, not having regular analysis of project implementation and delaying testing at each stage of implementation, the project does not have an efficient knowledgeable functional consultant or technical consultant etc.

Generally, the work process followed by various organizations is different and software cannot provide an out of box solution for the varying needs of the companies. Therefore, to adapt to the changing needs and requirements, the implementation gets delayed. Sometimes there are very minor differences in the functionalities which may take more than a month to resolve.

Some of the common reasons for delays in ERP implementation are

Complexity of the software: The work procedure followed by an organization is lengthy and complex which takes time to complete and sometimes, the companies are not ready to leave the complex system for an easy automated and direct method.

Customization: At the start of a project - the vendor and the buyer may not estimate the complexities and customizations are identified at the later stages. Some companies do not want to adopt new changes and customization not only delays the process but also causes errors in the integrated modules.

Inefficiency of the implementation team members: Inefficiency of implementation team members may delay the process. Many buyer claim that the ERP system in itself is not complete and the software vendors try to give various reasons for failure caused during implementation but mostly it is caused by inefficiency of the software or the implementation team who fail to analyze the risks and loopholes of the system and do not provide the correct measure to solve the problem.

Not having regular meeting with management and users: Delay in communication and not having regular meeting with the buyer's management may result in delay of the project. The buyer should give opinion about every phase of implementation and also give information about the key areas.

Shortage of resources: The project may fall short of resources leading to delays. Sometimes the estimation of cost is made unrealistically which may lead to shortage of resources. One of the biggest reasons for ERP failure is delay in implementation and it can be caused by lack of enough resources because many companies assume the total cost of software is basically the software license but it has been found that the cost of software implementation can be more than three to four times the cost of license of the software.

Unrealistic expectations: Many buyers have unrealistic expectations from software and if the client has more expectations which cannot be fulfilled by the vendor - it may lead to delay in project.

Delays in decision making by the client: If the top management of the client is not available to take decision at crucial stage of implementation - the project may get delayed.

Failure to follow the standards: Sometime delays can be caused if the implementation team does not follow the standards.

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