Higher Education Innovation In Action

ERP Worst Practices

Josh Hoagland, Vice President Jan 17, 2017

When it comes to ERP practices, there are some definite no-nos. Avoiding these potential pitfalls will save you time, money, and headaches in the future and allow you to work smarter, not harder.

One Size Fits All Thinking

Don’t try to make your ERP solution fit all your current business practices. Allow yourself, and your team, to correct broken processes and replace them with current, system-enabled, advanced models. Presumably there will be some resistance along the way but really ask yourself (and others), is there another valid reason to keep said practice in place other than “we’ve always done it that way.”?

Avoiding Documentation

Believe me. We get it. Documentation is tedious, time-consuming, and often falls to the bottom of the to-do list, however, it is immensely important to the health of your ERP system and your department’s success. If your institution has allowed for modifications to be made to your ERP, make sure correct documentation is provided so that system upgrades don’t become a hassle.

Trying to Do it All Yourself

ERPs can be tricky so sometimes you need expert advice to get the job done. Justifying bringing in specialists is most likely already a tedious battle so make sure you have (in writing) a straightforward exit strategy planned for any outside consultants. Consulting gets expensive and the next time you need a specialist, you don’t need to up the ante in a conversation that’s hard enough as it is. 

Data in the Wind

Data conversion is a challenge. Is it cost effective to push all data online? Does it make sense to add older data to the Student Information System as needed? Who is responsible for ensuring the data is correct? Create a plan of attack when it comes to legacy data and define standard operating procedures for how you’re going to handle it.

Trying to Please Everyone

Recognize out of the gate that you can’t please everyone. You’re going to have to say no more often than you may care to but trying to make everyone happy with ERP solutions will most likely equate to a rapid amount of modifications. Modifications are going to cost your institution more money and will most likely be harder to keep current as future system upgrades take place. Think about the big picture (and circle back to our first point).

Allow your ERP to work for best for you and your organization. Check out our other post, ERP Best Practices.