Implementing an ERP system can be a complex and costly undertaking for businesses in South Africa. Implementation failures are surprisingly common, with many implementations failing to live at all, or disastrous go-lives that cost the company far more than the ERP itself.

A failed implementation can devastate a business. With proper planning and execution, however, organisations can avoid the common pitfalls that lead to ERP failure. By understanding the reasons behind ERP failures and taking proactive measures to address them, businesses can leverage ERP software to optimise their operations and drive growth.

What’s Different About South African ERP Implementations?

You may have seen the recent news about ERP failures in South Africa. We don’t even have to get specific; they happen regularly. So, what’s different about South Africa? The truth is, ERP implementation failure is widespread internationally, with some sources claiming at best an 80% success rate.

There are some factors that contribute to making the problem worse in South Africa however:

  • The support is often based abroad. There’s nobody you can talk to or see in an emergency.
  • There are few independent ERP consultants in South Africa leading to poor or biased choices in the particular ERP solution chosen.
  • ERP implementation partners are relatively inexperienced and/or have their hands tied with lack of support from the vendor.
  • The ERP developers are usually based abroad with limited resources to concern themselves with an implementation on the other side of the world.

Apart from these, one of the primary factors is choosing the best ERP for your business.

So What’s the Best ERP in South Africa?

Every business is different, and the short answer is that there’s no best ERP. If there were, there wouldn’t be hundreds on the market. Almost every ERP has failed catastrophically numerous times which often costs the business many times more than what they spent on the system.

The key to choosing the right ERP for your business is to remove your bias and approach the decision from fresh.

All too often we see these decisions being driven by individuals with experience with a system in another business. Every business is unique, however, and it’s about making the right choice for this business and the people who run it.

It is crucial to have a clear understanding of organisational requirements and the purpose behind implementing the ERP system. Choosing the right ERP system can make a significant difference in the success of the project.

Gathering feedback from senior employees and managers about pain points and future plans can help identify critical requirements. Businesses need to ensure that the chosen ERP system aligns with their needs and goals. This step is crucial to avoid over-customisation, which can lead to technical issues and project delays.

4 Tips for a Successful ERP Implementation in South Africa:

  • Avoid integrations if possible. Choose an ERP comprehensive ERP that has most of what you need.
  • Ensure you have an experienced implementation team that’s experienced in the ERP you’ve chosen. An experienced team will guide you through the process and will know how best to set the system up for your business with that particular ERP.
  • Don’t just choose a big ERP name or let individuals bias the whole decision. Evaluate your options with an open mind and possibly with the aid of a consultant.
  • Evaluate and prioritise ERPs with strong local support.

Make Your Implementation a Success

If your business is a medium to large enterprise and you are looking for a comprehensive ERP solution backed by an experienced South African team, Embrace ERP is the ideal choice for you. Being both the developers and implementers of Embrace ERP, we know what it takes to make businesses succeed.

That’s why we have maintained a 100% implementation success rate since Embrace was first written over 38 years ago, and have continued to do so while growing it into the world-class advanced ERP system it is today.

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