Small Business ERP Software Guide Part 1: Know Your Culture
Is your culture ready for ERP?
Did you know that less than 40 percent of small business ERP software implementations are able to report 90% or higher use of their system after training?
This means that the majority of surveyed companies spent a lot of time and money to create something that requires weekly, possibly daily “efficiency updates” in order to work properly.
In this 5-Part Series, we’ll cover the topics that, if ignored, tend to cause the most hiccups in your small business ERP implementation:
Culture matters. Lots.
The success of small business ERP software is directly related with organizational culture. There are many reasons why employees may disassociate from, choose to use minimally or refuse to use an ERP system you’re implementing. This guide cannot break down the roadblocks specific to your culture, but most cultures have them.
The cultural elements to examine are:
- Learning and development
- Participative decision making
- Power sharing
- Support and collaboration
- Tolerance for risk and conflicts
If your employee culture is already showing strain for full adoption of other software or systems, the first aspect of your ERP design should include careful communications that leadership can take to influence adoption and foster a culture excited about your small business ERP implementation.
According to Sandy Duncan’s epic ERP research from 2012, the single biggest decision you can make is to start TALKING, TALKING, TALKING about ERP and the pending implementation long before it happens. “Often employees are surprised with an announcement on Friday that they will be training on a new system on Monday,” says Duncan of the 60% of businesses that fail to gain full adoption. “Their work is their livelihood and you just casually dumped it on them that they have to change their entire lives in 3 days.”
So before you look at small business ERPsoftware, set clear goals and expectations with the using team. Make sure that they understand ERP fully, and include time and training considerations into your product choice. The teams most likely to fall short are:
- Customer Service
So like CRM and project management tools often fail because they are not used, or not used properly, small business ERP software implementations must be planned to suit culture.
Small Business ERP software implementation is infinitely more complex than acquiring the system. It may be tempting to shell out for the most comprehensive system you can find. But one-size-fits-all, complicated systems won’t help your adoption problem. Don’t pay more for features nonessential to your design. With your company’s limited resources and time invested on the successful implementation of the ERP system, this is a risk you cannot afford to take.
Taking the time to examine your team’s existing process will help you make a smart, cost-effective purchase.