What are the Causes Behind ERP Implementation Failure


A study found that companies have experienced 75% of ERP implementation failures. This caused disruptions in business operations and significant income losses. It is a complex process and can go wrong for many reasons.

Either they are too optimistic or have unrealistic expectations, or they have too many metrics that ERP implementation will succeed. While ERP systems can be beneficial for your business in many ways, there are also many reasons they could fail. We will discuss why ERP implementations fail and how to avoid them.

Some General Insights About ERP Implementations

A traditional ERP system can contain as many as 25 modules capable of automating and optimizing nearly all business processes. Additionally, they combine all departments into a single solution. You could improve many things when introducing a new system to your business processes. It would help if you had top management support and new technology to avoid failure. Most often, the people are responsible for the implementation of the technology and not the software.

Why are ERP Implementations Failing?

System Requirements

System requirements are a vital component of successful ERP implementation. It is essential to understand your system requirements to ensure the successful future performance of your ERP system before you begin building it. The best approach is to start your custom development process by matching each system requirement with the features of the future ERP.

Insufficient Funding can Lead to Lost Revenue.

You need adequate funds to be able to make ends meet. 25% more of your budget To cover any unpredicted costs that may arise

  • Infrastructure costs (hardware, network, etc.) 
  • Budgeting for updates 
  • Further maintenance 
  • It increased payroll costs. 

Non-Realistic Implementation Times

It is essential to allow enough time for testing, implementation, and bug fixing. It is necessary to realize that the implementation process can be complex and time-consuming. Planning your project promptly will help you avoid failure.

Poor Core Team

To avoid a failed ERP implementation, building a core team of professionals is crucial. Outsourcing or staffing can be a great option if you are short of core experts. A manager will be needed to coordinate the efforts of your core team and provide regular reports to the executive management and other board members about the progress of the ERP projects.

No Leadership Commitment

ERP implementations require sufficient resources. These two crucial factors are adequate budgeting and the right talent. To ensure smooth and efficient performance, leaders must be able to distribute their abilities and resources effectively. Businesses can accomplish desired results, such as excellent sales and efficiency.

Inappropriate Data Cleansing

Your ERP system will only operate effectively with properly prepared data. Data cleansing and system building should be done simultaneously. You must separate your data into dynamic (transactions) and static (customers) classes to make sure that these two processes can execute simultaneously. Your data should be revised after sorting it before being uploaded into the new ERP system. Misspellings or other data issues can also cause ERP implementation problems.

No Testing

You should meet your requirements. Avoid customization, as it can make testing more difficult and decrease the ERP functionality. You should still consider every business process and ensure it is tested thoroughly. You should migrate data in multiple iterations. Document the details and load all data. It will accelerate the data migration process and allow your company to get up and running quickly.

Staff needs to be Ready for ERP.

Make sure you train your employees to use ERP in daily business operations. You must ensure that they can use the system efficiently and can successfully implement them in the processes they manage. This strategy will increase your chances of success.

Failures in ERP Implementation and Mistakes to Avoid

Nestle USA

Nestle was initially very decentralized. It was gathered under the direction of the American parent. Jerri Dunn merged numerous brands into one business after the research group learned about the drawbacks of decentralization. The business initiated a custom ERP software development project to address the issues. However, they made many mistakes that led to ERP implementation failure. They faced resistance from employees who weren't ready to accept the changes.

Due to the short deadlines, the team needed to be more timely and properly implement many modules. They were too focused on technology and lost sight of the components. The retreat company redefined its business needs and shaped project timelines to meet them. They also established clear communication between project team members and the other employees.

In a short time, they saw a significant improvement in their supply chain and forecasting. They also standardized all business processes and data across multiple offices. They understand the importance of communication between employees and continuous training. They also realize the extent to gain complete understanding and cooperation among all stakeholders.


Hershey's company's ERP implementation aimed to improve supply chain performance to meet retailers' delivery deadlines and boost competitiveness. Although the initial implementation timeline was estimated to take four months, several errors were made that significantly prolonged the process and caused significant damage to the company.

The implementation failed because of poor management commitment, a rush to implement the systems quickly, a lack of testing, and insufficient employee training. Due to constant delays, the company fell behind in fulfilling orders, and many offices lost their credibility. The company lost $150 million in sales due to delays in ERP implementation. They hired a new Chief Technology Officer and launched deep testing software.

The business processes were redesigned, and the system was redesigned to address compatibility and functionalities issues. They have taken the lessons learned and relaunched implementation from scratch, making it a success.

To Avoid ERP Implementation Failures, Here are Some Guidelines

Although the ERP implementation process can be complex, there is a high chance of ERP failures. However, by following these guidelines, the company can reduce costs and risks and avoid bad situations like bankruptcy.

  • Include all persons who are involved in ERP implementation. This includes senior executives as well as high-ranking employees and shareholders. 
  • Before implementing an ERP system, prepare and redesign your business processes, so everyone knows how the changes will affect the company. 
  • For successful implementation of modules, ensure compatibility and functionality. 
  • Avoid customizing too much, as it can increase costs, timeframes, and bug fixing. 
  • Consider the size of your software/modules. 
  • Make sure that everyone follows the plan and has strong management. 
  • Define your business goals and set a time frame. This will enable you to plan and estimate the testing phases necessary to ensure the ERP implementation goes smoothly. 
  • Mandatory training is essential for employees as it reduces resistance and makes the process smoother and less stressful. 
  • You can break down the entire implementation into phases and proceed slowly to avoid an unnecessary rush. 
  • Make sure to schedule cutovers during busy seasons. Cutover is best done during slower seasons, allowing employees to adapt to the new system more efficiently. 
  • Data migration requires discipline. If you don't, even the most functional system will not work and could cause long-term problems. 
  • Employ an outside ERP implementation team or third-party integrations. They can help you with ERP implementation. 
  • ERP is not a panacea. However, take time and approach the implementation process slowly. You'll be amazed at how ERP will transform your business and internal operations. 

Many organizations don't approach ERP implementation to manage their core business operations. Arion ERP makes getting a custom ERP system for your business affordable. When implementing ERP software, many companies ignore risks such as cash flows, performance objectives, and benefits analysis. Companies need to pay more attention to these functions and instead focus on the expense and hope that ERP software solution will transform their business and make it easier to manage everything.

It leads to the failure of the processes. You don't want that to happen to your venture. You would not want that to happen. Do you think it can be beneficial for your company to identify and understand the root causes of ERP implementation failures before they happen? Yes. With this in mind, an expert Arion ERP consultant has provided below a brief explanation of the main reasons for ERP software implementation failures.

Why do ERP Implementations Fail?

Often, poor planning by the management can lead to failure in implementation. It is essential to work with experienced ERP consultants to ensure successful implementation.

Many factors can cause the implementation process to fail. These factors must be addressed before it happens. These are the main factors that you should know.

Many businesses need more resources to implement ERP software properly. The company must have a clear understanding of both the internal and external resources required for the project.

Businesses should ask consultants for information about the resources and skills required to implement ERP software within their business systems successfully.

For internal resources, the company must adhere to a timeline consistent with the commitments made by employees after the ERP software has been implemented in the business system, especially those in accounting, manufacturing, customer service, and human resources.

Inexperienced ERP Consultants

Expertise and experience in ERP software implementation can make all the difference. Experienced consultants will be able to recommend the best strategies and ensure that the business software is appropriately implemented. An inexperienced consultant can make mistakes due to a lack of knowledge about the entire process.

Experts in ERP software development are essential if you want your ERP system to work for many years. It would be best if you looked for ERP experts who have previously worked in similar-sized companies.

Improper Project Management

Poor project management can affect the success of ERP software implementations. An experienced and dedicated ERP consultant is necessary to determine the size and scope of ERP implementation. Without knowing the project details, the consultant can help you with the implementation. This will prevent failures in performance which can lead to the loss of the entire project.

Read More:- Cost Breakdown of ERP Software and Its Implementation

Poor ERP Implementation Strategy

To ensure success, ERP implementation should be planned and executed systematically. It is essential to align the implementation strategy with business goals. Inadequate implementation can lead to poor business performance.

A good ERP software implementation strategy will lead to faster, more automated business processes. Production will rise, and manual resources won't need to spend as much time on accounting. This will reduce the chance of bugs. The right strategy can help you achieve your business goals.

Inadequacy of Resources

Many businesses underestimate the number of resources required to implement ERP. Companies must be able to accurately and realistically assess the resources needed internally and externally.

The company should establish a solid timeline to determine the level of commitment required from employees using the system. This could include the HR, Finance and Accounting departments.

Temporary resources may be required to ensure process continuity and to train users on the new system.

The business needs to obtain information about external resources from vendors, contractors, or consultants. This includes the skills, resources, duration, and time required to implement the new system.

Poor Software fit

One of the main reasons why an ERP installation fails is a need for more awareness of organizational requirements. The purpose of implementing ERP should be clear.

Get feedback from all senior managers and employees about the issues troubling them. Talk about plans and see if similar problems may arise.

After you have received all requirements from everyone, reduce the list to the essential requirements and note down any features required for your ERP. It is also possible to note elements that you do not need but are still valuable.

Secondary Customization

Customization, interfaces, and data translation are the three main technical risk areas for ERP installation. Sometimes, customization can increase the time and cost of deploying an ERP solution.

Some customization is necessary and even possible. However, too much customization can lead to major technical problems that can ruin everything.

You can use the ERP in its current form if you need it. However, customizations should only be done to benefit the company.

Disinterested Leadership

If those at the top of the company aren't committed to ERP implementation, it will ripple down to all employees.

The management should manage ERP implementation. They must allocate the appropriate resources and reassign them to meet changing circumstances. The project may be delayed unless the leadership pays for it.

People are the same. While they may be required to work on ERP implementations, they still need to complete their core tasks. Management must ensure work continuity through temporary employees.

ERP is a multi-enterprise task. Therefore, top leadership must ensure that all department heads agree to use ERP resources.

Insufficient Team Resources

You must ensure that your ERP team has the right resources - both skilled and experienced. Your ERP could only succeed if you have the right help.

You need to be able to assign employees and hire temporary workers for this purpose.

You must ensure that your employees are doing their regular work when you employ them. You could hire outside help to do specific tasks such as data conversion.

Inadequacy of Accountability

This is important. This will assist you in identifying who is in charge of what duties and at what levels. An ERP implementation can only succeed if it is timely, precise, and high-quality.

Implementation decisions should be made at the sales team level. I am waiting for top management to make every decision can lead to too many delays.

The team members who utilize the system and know the procedures are most suited to spot issues and implement fixes.

Resistance to Change

No matter what evidence you provide, lower-level employees will resist or even resent the plan's implementation. It's not something they look forward to.

It is essential to communicate the importance and necessity of ERP implementation. We recommend that you start early to allow them the time to accept it.

Human nature is to resist change and fear it. However, some people may be able to see the benefits and potential for the future.

Although many people may not understand why a system needs to change, with some preparation, you can get your employees to work together and make the transition a success.

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A successful ERP software implementation can help a business increase its competitive edge. This includes increased productivity, better customer service, automated processes, and collaboration between departments. It also allows for quick decision-making and improved customer relationship management. It is essential to avoid the pitfalls and causes of failure mentioned above.