ERP software benefits are proven and quite inviting even though it requires huge effort in its implementation, but even after a successful implementation it is prone to pitfalls. The implementation of ERP is technically complex and difficult task, it gets even more difficult and complex if management of buying company lacks in proper, correct and complete information about the whole implementation process. Insufficient and misleading information causes serious blockages during implementation itself to jeopardize whole project.
The biggest pitfall in successful ERP software implementation is the underestimation of cost and magnitude of effort required. Most of the time the increase in the cost and time when company is already neck deep into the implementation process induces skipping of few important steps which proves to be fatal in future. Most of the time, in the rush to implement, training of present staff on the new system suffers most.
In order to install and make a system run well that integrates the whole enterprise with one single application requires well trained staff that understands the implications of its incorrect data entry or wrong entry. In legacy systems, information is not readily available to other departments so scope for correcting a mistake before its late is always there, but with ERP, an incorrect entry disturbs the working of downstream users immediately. Due to lack of training such issues can create panic amongst the working staff which does not work well for smooth functioning of ERP.
With enterprise resource planning software one associates automation and reduction in manual efforts for doing repetitive or specialized tasks, along with this, compliance of rules and regulations universally throughout the organization is also expected. This can reduce the flexibility in the functioning. This sometimes makes working staff feel uncomfortable with the new system and leads to its failure.
The features of ERP software are explained and understood well but the actual functioning of those features and achieving accuracy in the results may take sometime, the eagerness to use them and not finding their results correct increases mistrust on the new system to work as a pitfall in the way of its success.
Incompatibility with legacy systems is another pitfall in ERP software proper functioning. Many organizations have important data or applications on which they are dependant and migrating from them is not easy and sometimes not possible, in such a case, lack of compatibility of ERP with these systems can create serious problems and discrepancies in the working to mess up the whole functioning of the company.
Incorrect selection of ERP implementation strategy is another underestimated pitfall which sometimes can land up the whole project in cold waters single handedly. Poor project management leads to such situation where incorrect strategy creates panic amongst employees of the company and complicated project of this magnitude becomes unmanageable. Poor planning before the implementation or after is the biggest pitfall for ERP software.
So to sum up, improper selection of ERP software, lack of training facilities, lack of trust of the staff, change management and too much dependency on customization, collectively or singularly can be a pitfall in ERP software's smooth running.
Collective effort, proper project management, accurate analysis of IT skills and knowledge required and exhaustive study and technological trials can avoid pitfalls in ERP software implementation.