A company might face numerous challenges when implementing a new software system. Whether you are from a large or a small company, you might face the same challenges when deploying new enterprise software.
In the 4.0 era, many companies have decided to switch to new enterprise software to handle work more effectively. In spite of numerous benefits from the new system, companies would definitely confront challenges during the process. Among these challenges, there are five most common issues.
1. Data classification
This is the most predictable issue that companies run into, especially those with traditional data management system. These companies use paper documents or unsystematic computer methods to record daily work and other important statistics. Therefore, the entry of data to the new software system would undoubtedly take a large amount of time. In addition, employees are requested to maintain the quality of the data. Not all data is required for the new system. While some systems only requires text input, others need statistics and figures. As a result, employees are asked to sort and categorize these documents into specific types.
In one of our articles, we have mentioned “Garbage in, Garbage out” (GIGO), a term indicating that the quality of input data will determine the quality of output data. Data must be classified and interpreted before being input in the new system. A good database should be consistent, unambiguous and verifiable. As a result, the input data would be accurate and the output data would therefore be precise.
A Transportation Management System, for example, requires highly-detailed and specific input data. Therefore, the company might need to consider hiring an experienced analyst to prevent bad data entry and also reduce the workload for other staff.
2. Conduction of business as usual while learning, training and switching to a new system
In tandem with a prolonged implementation, company must maintain its daily business. While employees have to organize a huge number of documents, learn how to use the new system as well as get used to the new process, they are asked to continue their daily tasks. This can be quite frustrating, especially if the implementation phase lasts several months. A research from Panorama Consulting Solutions (2011) indicated that over 35% of ERP implementations take longer than expected. As a harmful consequence, the performance of the staff will be seriously affected, leading to an overall reduction of the company’s productivity and accomplishment.
3. Lack of digital practice in employees
With or without the help of tech team, the staff need time to get used to the new system and be able to deliver the task efficiently. In general, adopting a new enterprise software comes with the demand for a detailed and comprehensive training method, and this is a top priority for a company. Your company’s employees will need proper training and a large amount of time to adapt. Training would also require much time as well as on-demand support, training materials and human resources.
In Vietnam, the shortage of qualified technicians also contributes to the problem. A report from VLA (Vietnam Logistics Association) shows that only 20% of logistics employees are truly qualified in this domain, and more than 30% of logistics companies in Vietnam have to re-train their current employees so that they can operate the system thoroughly.
4. Lack of support beyond the implementation phase
While searching for software vendors, it is crucial to consider how the vendor will support the company once the implementation phase has ended. Even with the most successful application, some companies might run into issues during daily operation. Especially for a software implementation, companies might run into system collapse, update failure, system bugs, false response, security issues, etc, which potentially lead to frustration for staff and extra maintenance cost. There will definitely be times when a customer support specialist is needed to identify the error and fix the issue.
In that case, a vendor with good after-sales support is much more helpful for the company in the long run. That is why when choosing a software vendor, company must look into the after-sales service to see whether the provider has full training system, have 24/7 support during and after implementation time, together with other services before reaching an agreement.
5. Hidden costs
Although a new software system is applied to cut down operation cost and simplify the system, companies must be aware of additional costs. Take TMS (Transportation Management System) as an example. Once TMS is opted, installation, training, reports may cost 25% - 30% more than initially estimated. Beside the cost of acquiring the new system, the cost of development, maintenance and updating must be taken into account. Therefore, the cost to operate a new enterprise software may end up higher than initial purchasing price.
Overall, managers must consider every hidden cost and issue beyond the contract. The contract is expected to be clear with detailed information, time and pricing. In the best-case scenario, it is both parties’s duty to foresee issues and included these in negotiation terms in advance of the settlement. Moreover, it is best if manager can build a fixed process with suitable job assignment so as to reduce pressure on employees, and recruiting new members must also be considered and added to backup plan.
While there might be challenges along the way, companies who successfully implement new software may benefit from cost reduction, system simplification and more profit as a result of increased efficiency.
As a software vendor, Abivin is fully aware of the challenges for our customers when deploying a new system. We guarantee that full support will be provided during and after the implementation phase to make it easy for your companies when using a new software system.