How Can SMBs Avoid ERP Failure?
Gone are the days when enterprise resource planning (ERP) software was only for big businesses. As technology has become more sophisticated, the cost and complexity of ERP implementation and upkeep has decreased. This has made the software accessible for small and midsize businesses (SMB), giving them the efficiency, insights and control to compete with top enterprises.
But that doesn’t mean ERP implementation isn’t without its challenges for SMBs. Smaller companies don’t have as many resources to spare, leaving little room for project missteps. Below, we list three ERP implementation challenges for SMBs and explain how they can combat them to successfully deploy their software.
1. Budget Restrictions
Small manufacturers and distributors don’t have the same capital or resources as large organizations. Thus, SMBs will sometimes go without ERP altogether in an effort to cut costs. However, that decision could thwart business growth. The software is an investment in the future of your enterprise, giving you the tools to manage each facet of your business and improve decision making.
Smaller companies must be more careful when putting together the budget for their ERP solution. Multiple considerations should go into making your budget, including infrastructure, licenses and number of users. You must also calculate projected ROI to ensure the project adds value to your business.
SMBs do have options for affordable solutions. Cloud hosting eliminates the need for on-site hardware and servers, drastically decreasing upfront costs as well as your project duration. Additionally, you could select a fixed fee, out-of-the-box ERP implementation. Small businesses are less likely to need extensive customizations or add-ons. Letting a certified consultant implement your software at a fixed price and timeline will give you a comprehensive solution without risks or extra costs. It’s the easiest method of sticking to your budget and avoiding scope creep while still gaining valuable tools.
2. Change Management
Change management is one of the most overlooked aspects of software projects. While businesses are focusing on how ERP could impact their processes, data and bottom line, they’re often ignoring the effect on users. If users refuse to employ the solution, your investment is worthless.
Change management entails preparing users for the new system through training, support and communication. Small and midsize businesses are actually at an advantage when it comes to managing change. For large enterprises deploying ERP across multiple sites, ensuring that all employees are informed and trained is complicated. SMBs have fewer locations and users, making them more adaptable to change.
Though SMBs have an advantage, they still can’t be lax when it comes to change management. Poor user adoption is one of the leading causes of ERP failure. SMBs should facilitate open communication and hands-on training to smooth over the transition to ERP.
3. Limited IT Resources
Employees at small manufacturing and distribution companies already have their plates full. Furthermore, there’s a good chance that they don’t have an IT team, or even one IT person. Implementing ERP without a certified expert on hand could bring disaster.
Though hiring a consultant might sound like a bad move for price-conscious SMBs, SMBs need consultants more than anyone. In fact, a report from earlier this year found that 65% of SMBs used ERP consultants compared to only 46% of large enterprises. That’s because small businesses need someone to guide them throughout their project.
Consultants understand ERP inside and out. They know all the best practices to avoid ERP failure and stay on your budget. They also have the skills to ensure your software yields substantial business improvements. Furthermore, top-of-the-line consultants will work with you from start to finish. That means they’ll be with you after go live to help you with customization, upgrades and anything else to optimize your investment and increase ROI.
ERP is finally accessible for organizations of all sizes, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come without its challenges. Let Datix take the challenge out of ERP software. We’re an Epicor Gold Partner with over 20 years of experience executing ERP projects for small and midsize manufacturers and distributors. Our comprehensive services and scalable solutions are designed to promote business growth.
Additionally, our Epicor Fixed Fee Implementation is the easiest way to deploy your system. A fixed fee implementation minimizes risk. At a swift schedule and reasonable price, our consultants will roll out your ERP software, so you can enjoy ROI in no time.
Nothing is standing between you and a successful ERP implementation. Learn how Datix can help your SMB reap the rewards of Epicor ERP by contacting us today!