Today, more than ever, organisations are increasingly relying on technology to manage business operations, facilitate the flow of goods and services between their suppliers, their customers and them and provide visibility across the business for future decisions. Therefore, evaluating, choosing, and implementing technology effectively is essential for businesses and frequently makes the difference between success and failure. This is especially true for new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementations because they enable firms to undergo digital transformation, build on prior achievements, change ineffective practices and pave the way for new opportunities.
Inixion has been implementing Sage X3 ERP systems for almost 20 years, with the team having collective experience in implementing, supporting, and collectively managing literally hundreds of ERP projects, globally. These implementations have been with businesses in a variety of sectors, ranging from small UK-based companies to global listed businesses. The team has interacted with C-level executives through to operational team members to maximise the benefits delivered by the ERP systems.
Our deep experience has fine-tuned our ability to deliver successful ERP projects. So much so, that we boast zero-failed projects to date! An impressive accolade considering Gartner’s findings that around 70% of ERP projects fail the first time.
In Inixion’s years of involvement with ERP implementations, we have heard of many ERP projects falling short of expectations, not being readily adopted by end-users, or requiring multiple technical interventions to operate effectively. In an all-too-common scenario, we are often called upon to ‘rescue’ the ERP project and help the customer achieve the successes they originally expected from their investment in an ERP system.
The expertise built over the years has also taught us that a successful ERP project isn’t based on luck; instead, it’s based on a very consistent pattern of processes, behaviour and best practices that provide the best pathway to achieving your goals.
The 5 key lessons in this article will help your organisation reach its goal of successful ERP implementation.
1. When it comes to digital transformation, there are no silver bullets.
Most organisations’ idea of a utopia would be investing in the easiest, fastest, lowest-cost solution with the least amount of risk and upheaval.
There are no silver bullets, easy answers, or quick fixes when it comes to your ERP investment and/or digital transformation. Every choice you make is full of pros, cons, risks and trade-offs. Your job is to objectively define the ERP solution that makes the most sense for your organisation, your industry and your business objectives.
2. A strong implementation is much more important than a time-consuming (and costly) software selection.
Most organisations have limited time, money and resources, so it is both natural and essential business leaders are cautious about where to assign those scarce resources.
Software selections that are too long and laborious can create ‘paralysis by analysis’ and uncertainty among your project team members, employees and executives. A faster selection process ensures your implementation starts quicker and you have more energy to concentrate on project goals.
3. Successful digital transformations are business transformations, not IT projects.
An ERP system benefits the entire organisation, it is a finance system, a manufacturing system, and an operational management system to name a few; it’s not ‘an IT system’.
The most successful projects are often those that are treated like broader business transformations rather than IT projects; transformations that are linked to your business’s objectives. These projects focus more on improving and transforming business processes, operating models, roles and responsibilities, and overall business results, and less on implementing new technology.
4. Establish strong project governance and controls, and clear project goals.
Think of project governance and controls as stabilisers that will keep your project from getting off track. A strong project management team, including input from one or more ‘C’ level executives from the leadership team, key decision frameworks, and the right outside consulting support is vital to a successful project governance structure.
5. Dedicate the best resources to your project including strong executive support, buy-in, and involvement in your project.
Establishing the right resource assignments starts at the top with the executive sponsors and the executive steering committee, including input from one or more ‘C’ level executives from the leadership team. This team needs to be fully engaged in keeping a pulse on the project, making important decisions, and helping solve problems as the project progresses.
Download our ‘5 lessons learned from hundreds of global ERP implementations’ guide to find out more information on the above recommendations based on decades of Inixion’s experience and lessons learned in global ERP implementations. Give your ERP project a better chance of succeeding and delivering the benefits you expect from such a significant investment by having the right information from the start.