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ERP Implementation Failures-Common Mistakes

Dear All,

Implementing an ERP solution is a big leap forward for any organisation which involves the  transition journey from the conventional ways of executing tasks and processing information, to a modern, state-of-the-art business processing infrastructure,  is among the most expensive, time-consuming and complicated tasks , and as critical for any business  as working on any strategic business deal.

But irrespective of making huge investments on an ERP system, and willing to make it work for the organisation, companies find themselves disappointed and discontented with the outcome of the  ERP implementation. The euphoric confidence  associated with taking the organisation to another level of productivity by new ERP  gradually gets replaced by regret of  blocking significant amount of money on an ERP system that doesn’t  live up to expectations.

There can be numerous challenges/mistakes which can result in disastrous ERP Implementation ,In my opinion following two can be the most common mistakes that can affect any  ERP implementation:

  1. Assuming ERP implementation project just an IT project can be the most commonly mistake. After investing all the time and resources to ERP Project, you will end up isolating your ERP system in a vacuum.  Without proper input company-wide, your ERP system will not be engineered and aligned to your business processes and requirements of business. To accomplish the full potential of new ERP system, everyone from the organisation should be involved in the transition journey. The ERP implementation project a  should be a companywide Program and major initiative in every department of business which  will ensure alignment of ERP software to business processes, employee ownership and ultimately employee utilization.
  2. Replicate legacy system on new ERP software is another common mistake which can jeopardise ERP implementation. People, who are reluctant to move away from legacy system, should focus on the functionalities of the new ERP software rather than the business requirements behind those functions. The fervent desire to replicate an existing legacy on new ERP system may require numerous modifications to new ERP which results in costs without real business benefit. The goal should not be to replicate the way things are done in the legacy system on new ERP system .Indeed, most times; a new ERP implementation may bring a slightly different process flow, different screens and different reports. People assigned to a company’s implementation team need to think outside the box and realize that their business requirements are being met even if the screens and buttons are not exactly the same.

In conclusion a successful ERP implementation depends not only on selection of the correct applications, but also on the quality of the communication between organisation and ERP application implementation consultants.Since this is very broad area of discussion Please not to forget mention here the challenges which you have faced during your projects.


Anupam Sharma

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  • Hi Anupam,

             Very good analysis and too true. Users / Process owners support are too most important to achieve the desired business requirements output.


  • Dear Anupam,

    Excellent points.

    The first one, “Assuming ERP implementation project just an IT project“, is very very true.

    I have seen people implementing an ERP project based on fixed templates and procedures. Even an expert implementation team often seeks for very standard processes and ways of doing stuff. As a result, in the end the ERP and the physical process are not at all, in harmony. In my opinion, a successful ERP implementation is not only about standardizing the processes or mapping a legacy into another ERP, it is far more than that.

    The implementation environment changes from client to client, so does the expectation from the implemented ERP.



  • Hello Anupam,

    Almost every implementation face these challenges but at the same time Client’s resistance to certain changes prompts us to think more in many cases.

    Best Regards,

  • Dear Anupam,

    I am totally agree with you.I think the assigned resources to projects is key.If you have zeal and proper business logic mindset then you can convert bit of perception of users who stick to its legacy.Implementation companies are also responsible for it.lots of ‘z’ in process does not going to help business but it could create mess.A mess for user ,its a paradox ERP implementations now a days become as a replica of legacy in some extent and company can not utilize the basic concept of ERP.It is like a PMS system with packaging of ERP.

    I agreed with Naresh krishnamoorthy that communication is key but base of communication should be more specific and more in exploring in nature for betterment of company we should be more clear and specialist of our tool which is ERP then we can pursuade users.

  • I am agree with you. Change management cannot be separated with any SAP implementation project. Effective change management can prevent business disruption and smooth the transition.

  • Hi Experts,

    In india long form of the SAP is reffered as “SAB ADMI PARESHAN”

    Pl. note here that since SAP is totally integrated system,though having software,it is man/personnel/human dependant system,

    It start with GR with the help of PO ( purchase order) and Made production confirmation through PO(Production Orders),effect will finds in Finance.

    Again the experts of the personnel do really good in all to find out the reports and put clear picture to the management so that the management could make Business decisions,

    There are so many areas in SAP System that one could find space for the lot of develpment in BUSINESS PROCESSES as Business process reengineering,KAIZENS leads to small change in process make process confirtable.

    Managment also make decisions in reducing BIG LOSSES (manufacturing industry well recognized)in process by identify and implement the lean processes,

    It is the BIG TASK for the HEADHONKOS / HEADHUNTERS to put clear picture of the SAP SYSTEM to the BIG BEES.

    Then is surely in india, SAP will be referred as “SYSTEM ACCEPTED PERSONALLY”

    All the Best experts,



    • Hi,

      in addition to the above comments, Only Production Variances analysis gives the BIG PICTURE of the How the system is running well? 😉

      this also gives the paltform for the areas for Business process Re-engineering,Kaizens for the small changes to avoid losses,

      COOIS reports and Order confirmation screen with idle hrs leads Manufaturing losses,

      If identify well will leads to great management decisions, 😕

      All the best experts,