Tips & Tools

Steer clear of these common ERP implementation mistakes

Total ETO


The saying “once bitten, twice shy” is meant to convey how discouraging a mistake can be. More specifically, if you try something new but do not succeed at it right away, you might end up never attempting it again because you feel that you would just encounter the same error.


When it comes to the implementation of enterprise resource planning systems, major mistakes – ones that can create months of extra expensive work for an organization – are routine:


For example, a Panorama Consulting survey found that in 2015, 57 percent of all ERP projects overran their budgets. The same percentage took more time than expected to complete.


More than a third (36 percent) of respondents reported that they did not know if their implementations were ultimately successful, implying that their initial software selections, business case justifications and audits were not sufficiently thorough.


Fears of a security breach or data loss were the top two reasons that survey takers cited for not pursuing cloud ERP, which could potentially incur more costs and delays. Fifty-six percent of implementations covered by the survey were on-premises.


With these numbers in mind, it is no surprise that for many custom design manufacturers, purchasing and implementing ERP systems can be scary.

What mistakes do ERP projects teams normally commit?

ERP platforms are inherently complicated. They are the centerpieces of their respective organizations, tasked with connecting accounting software, customer relationship management tools and much more to each other. From the assembly line to the inventory system, ERP is the common thread. Yet this prevalence and complexity create many opportunities for error, including:


1) Too much customization

When an ERP solution is not a natural fit for an organization, it often gets heavily customized to close the gap. Such tweaking can delay project completion while driving up overall costs. The Panorama report revealed that moderate customization – in the range of 11 percent to 20 percent – was the sweet spot for most ERP users, and that the overall level of customization had declined between 2014 and 2015.


2) Not enough quality data

An ERP platform is a system of record. As such, it should be a dependable way to obtain information about all aspects of the business, from sales right through to shipping. Many traditional ERP systems are difficult to audit, leaving everyone in the dark about key areas of concern such as the status of procured materials. Ideally, an ERP solution would instead offer real-time updates about how newly logged hours and placed orders affect job costing estimates.


3) Underestimating project scope

This mistake is common for organizations that have never upgraded their ERP systems or are doing so for the first time in many years. Once they begin factoring in the need to interconnect all of their applications and get buy-in from various teams, the timeline for completion inevitably starts slipping further into the future. Plus, the continued presence of bad data can jeopardize any benefits from the upgrade. It is important to set up a reliable ERP system that is properly integrated with accounting, CRM and productivity tools from the get-go so that such issues do not haunt the ERP platform in the long run.


An ERP system by and for custom design manufacturers

Total ETO is a breakthrough ERP | MRP solution for small and mid sized custom design manufacturers. It’s tailored for engineer to order organizations, so it fits without the need for costly customizations, which are the major cause of scope overrun and delayed implementations. Total ETO is also super easy to upgrade. Most upgrades can be completed in just a few minutes! Data is always easy to access in real-time and configuration options that make it a highly affordable choice. Learn more about Total ETO by requesting a demo today!