July 8, 2024

    Top ERP Integration Issues and Tips to Avoid Them

    Your ERP system and data are only as good as its integrations with other business solutions. Without seamless ERP integrations, your organization could face process disruptions, data inaccuracies, system downtime, or even ERP failure—all of which degrade trust in your ERP system and could require costly recovery measures.

    On top of that, if an ERP system is unable to sync with other systems to provide accurate stock availability or process orders efficiently, it can cause delays and unhappy customers, damaging your company’s reputation and your bottom line.

    Addressing integration challenges proactively is crucial for avoiding these negative business impacts. In order to do that, you must first understand what common ERP integration pitfalls exist as well as what strategic safeguards you can put in place to avoid them.

     

    Areas Where ERP Integration Issues Crop Up

    1: Migrating Your Data

    A new ERP system wouldn’t be much good if a company had to rebuild its data from scratch, so data migration is a key part of any new platform implementation and integration. This process can be fraught with risk—data duplication, loss, or corruption can cripple departments or even entire businesses.

    The key to avoiding major complications during data migration is to establish an in-depth data validation process before the implementation begins and any data leaves its point of origin. By ensuring the accuracy of the data before the process starts, businesses practically eliminate the risk of catastrophic “cascading errors” that can lead to long periods of downtime while datasets are rebuilt.

     

    2: Complex Systems

    Often, a modern ERP system is implemented with the goal of consolidating disparate business systems into one all-inclusive platform. Whether that is your aim, or you simply seek to add a point-solution to your ERP in order to address a specific need, you need to take the complexity of the systems into account.

    Each system has its own data formats, workflows, and interfaces that must be managed. The only way to avoid operational breakdowns that occur when complex systems are not integrated effectively is to have a plan in place before the integration begins. A thorough understanding of each system, its needs, and the documentation involved is vital.

    Without an expert-level understanding of each of the systems involved, businesses risk workflow disruption, which negatively impacts their employees and customers as well. Businesses must also remain hyper-aware of the risk of losing customers because of complications during an integration—the best ERP system in the world will not matter if you don’t keep your clients long enough to use it.

     

    3: Data Security

    There is a greater risk of security breaches occurring through an ERP integration due to the unavoidable existence of more access points being active. The possibility of security threats, both digital and physical, must remain on the minds of integration teams and users alike.

    Regular security audits should be performed, and new security protocols such as two-factor authentication (2FA) should be implemented, especially for businesses in fields that deal with sensitive customer data, such as medical or financial industries.

     

    4: Ongoing Support & Training

    Whether you’ve had your ERP platform in place for years or it’s a new implementation, a new integration means that users will be engaging with your ERP system in a new way.

    While every modern ERP platform aims to be user-friendly, even the most easy-to-use systems require in-depth onboarding for users to learn the technical intricacies in addition to the process changes that the system will bring.

    Businesses need to plan for this training ahead of implementation or they risk mass confusion, costly mistakes, and service interruption while they scramble to teach their employees the new systems. A clear, concise training plan that begins before the new platform is rolled out is the best practice for success, coupled with ongoing support for new users, as well as updates to the system.

     

    5: Accessing Live and Real-Time Data

    Businesses need real-time data to respond to operational issues and market changes. Traditional ERP systems and existing integrations may not suffice. That is where integrations to real-time data processing applications come into play.

    A modern, agile ERP will offer these businesses a real-time look at their data, from financials to order processing to inventory. This real-time visibility will allow users across all business segments, from leadership to sales, to make on the fly, up-to-date decisions to better serve their customers and co-workers.

     

    Best Practices for Flawless Integrations

    1: Prioritize Detailed Planning

    Approaching the integration with a detailed, clear road map of the systems, operations, data, and processes involved will be a significant benefit to businesses. The more in-depth the plan, the lower the chance of disruption, confusion, mistakes, and repeated work.

     

    2: Make Changes Incrementally

    The bigger the change, the bigger the challenge. By rolling out changes slowly, businesses can address any issues that arise during the process and ensure that users are comfortable with the new operations before adding more to their plate. This can drastically lower the risk of employee overwhelm, which often leads to cascading failures.

     

    3: Manage The Change

    Organizational change management is a field that deals with ensuring leadership and users alike are prepared for the changes that come with an operational technology change. A change management team will ensure users receive adequate training and preparation for the new processes they will use, and that leadership fully understands the effects of the new solution on their business, users, and customers.

     

    4: Consult with Experts

    Choosing the right ERP platform and systems to integrate is only part of the challenge. Choosing the correct partner to help guide the integration can be just as important to the long-term success of the business. Partnering with consultants with a proven track record of successfully navigating the pitfalls of implementation can be the difference between a smooth transition or a frustrating time of turmoil.

     

    Choosing the Right Partner

    Having a detailed road-map to success and partnering with a reputable, established provider for integration can be the difference between long-term success and failure.

    Enavate focuses on strategy, analyzing your businesses’ big-picture needs first so that we remain focused on what you want to achieve before creating a detailed plan for integration. By tailoring the game-plan to your specific needs, Enavate has a track record of minimizing confusion, frustration, and downtime while maximizing user experience and efficiency.

    Talk to a software integration expert today!

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