An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software platform is a game changing investment that can transform a business. However, while making the right choice of ERP can generate improvements in all your business processes, the wrong investment can hinder your operation and waste significant capital.
Whether you are considering investing in an off-the-shelf ERP, a custom software development, or an ERP specific to your sector (in our case the clothing and footwear industry) here are seven of the most common mistakes to avoid.
1) Too Much Personalisation
A good ERP will allow you to tailor your metrics and outputs to match the needs of your business. However, if you have to customise an ERP too much, it is a good sign that the particular platform isn’t fit for purpose. Too many dials and customisable gadgets can confuse users, especially when working across a complicated organisation or supply chain. The factory settings in most ERP’s allow businesses to standardise and measure their outputs against similar businesses in their sectors. Diluting this will reduce your analytic capabilities. Avoid this problem by opting for an ERP that is as close a fit as possible in its vanilla state.
2) Putting Technology Before Experience
It is easy, when investing in an ERP, to get lost in the features and functions on offer rather than concentrating on your desired outcomes and needs. Start with what you want the ERP to achieve from a user basis as it is too easy to get lost in the features and functions on offer, resulting in the desired outcomes and needs being missed.
3) Insufficient Automation
Your ERP will become the hub for your business, with streams of data coming in from all parts of your business, and affecting all your operations in turn. Unless your ERP is highly automated and easy to maintain, it risks becoming a huge drain in time and resources, and you could miss out on fully capitalising on many of its important features.
4) Not Incorporating Organisational Knowledge And Experience
The purpose of an ERP is to organise and consolidate your existing resources and help you bring out the strengths inherent in your business. It is not a blank slate or a year zero moment. Your chosen ERP investment must allow you to make full use of the historical knowledge and experience inherent in your team and your existing data systems. Compatibility with legacy systems, ease of migration, and extensive reporting capabilities are, therefore, one of the key things to look for when speaking with an ERP vendor or developer.
5) Focusing On Asset And Resource Management – Rather Than Efficiency
A lot of businesses use their ERP as a software platform for managing assets and resources across their supply chain. This is fine, so long as a focus is maintained on how these processes increase business efficiency and productivity. A good ERP should have business intelligence and analytics built into its fabric, so that it encourages innovative practices, and proactive approaches to cost savings.
6) Not Incorporating The Needs Of Your Users
Your ERP will be a workhorse for a wide range of departments, individuals, contractors, and suppliers. It must have a workflow that accurately reflects the entire product development and resource management process. Don’t go into an ERP investment without fully understanding the processes of each department and how these relate to both the ERP, and other departments. Failure to do so will create problems with the implementation and may prevent the system from working effectively. Involve stakeholders in the decision-making process from the beginning, finding out what they need from an ERP and how it can support their processes.
7) Underestimating Implementation Time
When implementing an ERP, planning ahead can save you a lot of time, especially if you take a proactive approach to training your staff. A good vendor or developer will work with you to set out a realistic implementation plan that includes training for all your employees who will be using the platform, giving them the knowledge to reduce overspend and lowering the chances of missing deadlines.
Our STYLEman ERP is a custom-designed platform for businesses working in the clothing, footwear, and fashion sectors. The ERP has inbuilt capabilities to manage complicated fashion supply and development chains, with targeted personalisation to match the software to your business goals. Your investment in STYLEman comes with implementation project management, staff training, data migration, and after sales technical support including the cost, and we will work closely with you to get your software up and running as quickly and smoothly as possible. To find out more, or to request a free product demo, please get in touch today.
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