As a result of the intense competition in different industries, companies resort to technological tools to help enhance their competitive advantage. ERP is software package used by numerous companies to streamline their business processes both internally and across borders. However, there are numerous challenges associated with the implementation of the ERP systems.
One of the critical challenges facing the implementation of the ERP systems is the lack of enough financial and human resources. Financial resources help organizations to keep the system running effectively from the design to the implementation phases. Most organization do not do adequate planning for the ERP systems and the potential resources they are likely to require, in the end, they result on cutting back on the support and maintenance of the ERP system which is a recipe for failure of the system. Human resources are an essential part of the implementation process, lack of adequate technical knowledge means that the firms have to hire experts to foresee the process further increasing the financial resources required.
Another significant challenge of the implementation of the systems is resistance to change by the employees in the organization. It is always a huge obstacle in the implementation process primarily because employees find it difficult to change the organizational culture especially because they feel that the decision making for the routine activities will be taken away from them (Zamre & Ismail, 2015). Also, it takes plenty of time for the design and implementation of the ERP systems which discourages numerous organizations from implementing the system. The committee or employees involved in the design and deployment of the system need to ensure that they adequately explain the use and the advantages of the system. Organizations need to ensure that they allocate enough funds for training purposes. Employees with a good grasp of the functionality and the usefulness of the system are less likely to resist the system.
Choosing the right system for an organization poses an enormous challenge due to the lack of knowledge on how to formulate the system to include all the requirements. Identifying the gaps between the generic system and the firm requirements would be the first step towards integrating all the organizational and user requirements. Most companies fail to understand the business requirements. Managers must decide on the type, size and scope of the ERP system otherwise the system might experience some considerable failures or even in the worst case scenarios a complete halt of all business operations (Zamre & Ismail, 2015). Another aspect is the vendor selection process; firms need to ask questions to the vendors concerning their financial situation as well as their technical knowledge. The market focus of the organization is also important in determining whether the supplier will design the system. It will also prove to be beneficial to ask around about the track record from previous customers of the vendors; this will help them determine what quality of system to expect.
The flexibility of the ERP systems is one of the critical considerations during the design of the ERP systems. A system that is not flexible may force an organization to change the business processes. Re-engineering of the business process may prove to be even more costly than the system in the first place making the organizations discard the ERP system altogether (Zamre & Ismail, 2015). The ERP system should be the one designed to fit the changing needs and business processes.
Zamre, N. & Ismail, S. (2015). Challenges in Managing the ERP Implementation: Case Study on User Requirement Stage. Retrieved 29th April 2016 from http://fstm.kuis.edu.my/icits/proceeding/fullpapers/IC-ITS%202015%20-%20IT%20043.pdf