6 Important Lessons Learned from ERP Implementation Failures

erp

The deployment of new software in your core business activities can improve productivity and efficiency. ERP is one of the tools you can consider acquiring to enhance the operations of your enterprise, but you should also appreciate the fact that the implementation of such software is not straightforward.

An ERP implementation is not always easy and that is why it is important for every member of a business to take the time to pay attention to lessons learned from ERP failures in order to avoid those mistakes during their own implementation. By steering clear of these common mistakes, companies are able to maximize their long-term potential.

1. Poor Software Choices

Taking a closer look at the system requirements before choosing software is a great way to steer clear of this issue. ERP vendors are always going to push a client to purchase their software with all of the bells and whistles but it is imperative that we ask questions to find out everything we need to know.  Try to find out what issues can cause you pain and what are the key areas an ERP should resolve within your business.

2. Lack of Commitment from Leadership

The level of commitment to ERP implementation starts at the very top and if leaders of a company are not willing to put their full weight behind the process, it is doomed to failure from the start. It is needless to say that adopting ERP will affect the core functions of your enterprise, which suggests that the active involvement of top management is critical. Unfortunately, some managers may follow suit, which inhibits the successful implementation of such software.

Bringing all of your managers on board before your company acquires an ERP software is necessary. Top executives need to understand how ERP will affect core business functions as well as give suggestions that will make the implementation process a success. Involving managers in the process of implementing ERP software will also present an ideal opportunity for training to facilitate a smooth transition.

3. Legacy Reflection

Letting go of old habits is a challenge for some business operators and for that reason they may prioritize customization of their new ERP to function like their legacy systems. The problem is that over-customizing ERP is costly, and it also increases the need for future upgrades. 

The idea of enhancing the user experience when installing new software may be a necessity, but ensuring that your latest ERP software resembles your legacy platform is not an option at all.

Acquiring an ERP solution that will address the requirements of your organization is a priority you should never overlook because it will reduce the need for customization. Embracing the fact that successful implementation of new ERP requires your business to adapt accordingly is also a wise idea.

4. Failure to Obtain the Proper Resources

While a team often has the right number of human resources and a lot f available tool at their disposal, that does not mean that the team was able to find the right people or the right tools to match the task at hand. It is important to focus on staffing your team with the right talents an experience to properly handle the job.

5. No Delegation Skills

Decisions need to be made in a timely manner. Companies that are going through the ERP implementation process do not always have the chance to do so because they have not chosen the proper party. Be sure to establish a hierarchy for decision making as early as possible. 

6. Insufficient Training

In order for an ERP implementation to go according to plan, the correct training must take place. The users need to be well versed before the implementation is able to happen. If not, they are going to be forced to turn to the implementation support team every time they need assistance.  This serves a drain on key resources.

allonline365 offers high-quality services like implementation, deployment, training, and support. Take the guesswork out of implementing a new ERP system and let us take care of it. Dynamics 365 Business Central is a top-end ERP system that can help your business grow. To get in touch with allonline365, contact us on  +27 (21) 205 3650 or email  info@allonline365.com.

www.allonline365.com

Resource Credit | K3 Business Technologies

POS Implementation in a Large Restaurant Chain

pos

Five top tips for managing a successful POS implementation in a large restaurant chain

LS Retail has shared some important insights on the POS transformation. What do you think of when you hear the words “new point of sale (POS) system implementation”? Does the idea fill you with dread or have you had a positive experience? As one of our customers CIO put it, there is your company’s reputation – and yours too – at stake with the selection and implementation decision.

Either way, we know that few businesses enter into technology upgrading lightly, especially when we’re talking about a system which will affect every facet of your business for years to come. When your existing technology still gets you by, it can feel like a huge risk making such a big change. And, let’s face it, it’s not like we all have the extra budget and resources going spare.

Technology is one of those things where the old adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, does not apply. There comes a time when you must consider upgrading your systems if you want your business to remain competitive. Perhaps you need to boost efficiency in your kitchens, or maybe you’re looking to improve guest satisfaction. Modern POS solutions can make all the difference when it comes to simplifying your operations, having better oversight of your inventory, keeping track of your customers and speeding up service.  Today, this technology is no longer nice to have; it’s a strategic imperative.

So where do you start? How do you choose the right technology, and ensure the implementation project runs as smoothly as possible and you get the most from your investment?

One of our customers, a large restaurant chain in the US, faced this exact challenge a couple of years ago. They faced end-of-life situation with their 20-year-old POS system. No new versions were being built and it was no longer supported. It was time to choose a new platform, and embark on a company-wide implementation project.

Fast forward to today: they’re running their brand new unified POS and ERP system, LS First, in over 70 restaurants with many more to follow. Sales are up, efficiency is at an all-time high, and they’re able to open new outlets faster than ever thanks to their integrated platform.

Here are five tips they shared to help you manage a successful POS implementation too.

Tip #1: plan, plan, plan

From start to go live, our customer’s project took eight months. We would say this is a fairly typical timeframe for implementation of this scale. And this includes periods where the system is on lockdown as a result of seasonal constraints.

To ensure the project progresses as smoothly as possible, don’t cut corners in your planning. Look at your business and understand how the project will impact it at every stage of the process. Make sure your milestone dates are sensible and won’t place unnecessary strain on your business during busy times.

Leave no stone unturned and break the project down into manageable chunks – from pilot phase to initial implementation to company-wide rollout. Consider important factors such as how you’re going to train your staff effectively, and when you’re going to install new hardware.

Remember, the work doesn’t stop once you’ve completed the pilot. Be prepared for multiple pilots and a lot of learning before you rip off the band-aid. It’s all a learning process.

And when you think you’re ready to roll the system out, take a breather. Don’t steamroll ahead; take a moment to see how the system is working and identify any issues that you couldn’t have planned for in your testing environment. Companies that are successful in projects like these take a considered approach.

TIP #2: set realistic expectations and ensure your key stakeholders are onboard

Get the buy-in from all stakeholders right from the beginning, and make it very clear what the goals and objectives of the project will be. Everybody needs to fully understand the desired end results. Don’t sell them a dream you can’t deliver on.

It may sound extreme, but sometimes businesses have likened a POS implementation to a heart transplant. It’s a big deal. POS data drives so many of your business decisions, and you don’t want to get anything wrong. That’s why it’s important to ensure that the decision-makers in this project are available to answer the critical questions when you need them to.

Equally, you must understand how much time should be devoted to a project like this for it to be a success. And then you need to give your project teams sufficient time to carry out the work. Make sure everybody knows what’s required of them, and ensure your IT and operations stakeholders communicate with one another.

And don’t rush. Set sensible, realistic timeframes from the start, and put the effort in to make sure you’re getting everything right, at every stage of the process.

Tip #3: be prepared for changes along the way

Even the best-prepared projects still encounter hurdles along the way. Know that when you’re dealing with an implementation of this nature and scale, it’s hard to plan for every eventuality. So be willing to adapt.

For example, our customer’s plans for staff training ended up being revised several times. At first, they intended to spread out their pilot restaurants across multiple districts. But then they realized this would make matters unnecessarily complicated for their district managers. In the end, they decided to roll out the new POS to all stores in one district at a time. This way the managers were fully invested in the project, and the organization was able to focus their training resources in one place at a time.

Ultimately, you need to accept that what you thought was the best approach initially may, in fact, need to change for the good of the project and the company.

Tip #4: Choose a trusted partner

The importance of selecting the right partner should not be underestimated. When deciding on a solution, ask yourself who your long-term partners will be. Once the pilot and system rollout are complete, who are you going to be left working with? At first, you may be dealing with resellers. Take the time to figure out who you’ll be dealing directly once they’re out of the picture. Will they provide the ongoing support that you need? Do they fully understand your business needs?

For our large US customer, it was important that they found an IT partner which had deep knowledge of both the retail and hospitality industries. They needed someone who could relate to their business needs, appreciate the unique intricacies of both sectors, and be open to making a positive change in the product. Success comes down to establishing a mutually beneficial partnership based on trust and gained through transparency.

Tip #5: Make sure you look at the bigger picture

In some ways, installing a new POS is like putting a new roof on your house. It will prepare you for the storms ahead.

So while it’s important to focus on the immediate benefits your new solution will bring to your business, it’s just as critical to consider the longer term impacts too. For example, our customer has seen a significant rise in efficiencies on the restaurant floor as staff can take orders much faster using mobile POS. But the benefits reach far beyond this. Equipped with a modern POS, the business is now able to grow. With a modern platform to rely on, it’s far easier to open new stores. Leaders can now explore how to expand the business in different ways.

Keep an eye on how you’re going to achieve a return on investment, but make sure you’re constantly re-evaluating what those returns will be, and keep your perspective open: in some ways, you cannot really put a price on a platform which will future-proof your business, scale with your needs and adapt to your unique requirements.

But don’t just take our word for it. Starfleet Research’s latest survey on Restaurant Management and POS Systems found that almost three-quarters of fast food and fast casual restaurants owners saw a significant or dramatic improvement to their overall performance and financial results when they upgraded their restaurant management and POS system within the last three years. The response was even more positive from full-service restaurants. More than eight out of ten said their POS implementation had a dramatic effect on their business.

Want to find out how we can help you with your new POS implementation journey? We are a proud LS Retail partner and can offer advice and guidance on how to fast track your business into the digital age. You can contact us on  info@allonline365.com or  +27 (21) 205 3650

www.allonline365.com 

Resource Credit | LS Retail 

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