Even when utilizing a top-of-the-line enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform like Microsoft Dynamics NAV, the ERP implementation process is fraught with difficulties. In order to make sure a NAV implementation is done well and helps the business in the long run, companies should be sure to avoid these most common mistakes.

1) Not taking the time to plan out everything
ERP platforms can be immensely beneficial in part because they are such overarching and comprehensive solutions. As such, trying to make sure that all of the right parts are aligned and that all details are accounted for can be difficult. This planning phase is crucial for making sure ERP lives up to its potential and will actually help the business, but too often it is a step that companies forget or choose to ignore.

2) Not determining how the the platform will specifically help the business
In the business world, many new technologies will enter the marketplace surrounded by lots of hype. Microsoft Dynamics NAV is one of them, as many firms have heard much good news about ERP and how it can help them succeed. However, this is not enough to justify a purchase, especially of such a comprehensive platform. Before going forward with an ERP implementation, companies should first look at what the solution brings and determine what specific need areas it will address. This way, the platform chosen will yield tangible business results that boost profit margins.

"No matter how powerful or flexible an ERP system is, it will not be able to absorb all business logic," said Akan Iza, a software architect with website development firm NetFoliage, according to CIO.com. "One of the most common mistakes made during ERP implementations is to assume that ERP can be used to run a business end to end. To avoid this costly mistake, companies should focus on implementing ERP to optimize value chain and to trace costs. Everything else should be a secondary goal."

3) Thinking ERP doesn't require constant maintenance
Too often, enterprises operate under an "out of sight, out of mind" mentality, thinking that the chosen ERP platform will continually work effectively for years without maintenance. However, the rapid rate of change with the business and IT worlds dictates that organizations must constantly evolve or risk losing market share. As such, a NAV implementation that was perfect for meeting the needs of a company in 2005 may likely be ill-suited for meeting today's enterprise demands. To think that ERP does not need to be consistently maintained and reworked is to think that ERP should only be useful for a short time frame.

4) Rushing the vendor selection process
Shoppers looking for a specific brand of potato chips know that while they can go to any number of stores, the quality of the food item purchased will be the same. This, however, is not the same with ERP, even though many companies looking to adopt a platform think of the buying process in this manner. Since the vendor chosen often helps to implement and oversee the solution, taking the time to carefully select the right ERP provider is critical. Microsoft Navision is a powerful solution, but a company that gets it from a bad vendor will see a negative return on investment from the platform.

Learn how to define your ERP strategy by downloading the white paper entitled "ERP in Manufacturing: Defining the ERP Strategy" from the DMS website today.