Some ERP projects are less painful than others. Yes, there are certain projects that have minimal customization and configuration—they go off without a hitch, can be completed in a few months, and boast a high ROI and success rate. But research shows these are not terribly common—with estimates seeing as many as three in four projects failing.
Both Success and Failure are Common—But Not Guaranteed
The reality is a bit more of a grey area. Can projects fail? Yes. Any time that you have to combine cultural change with in-depth training with major data conversion and configuration, easy is not the word to define it.
Will they? Maybe. Though there are a lot of things that can derail a project, a true implementation partner can guide you through. Added to this, ERP has gotten easier to implement with the rise of the cloud, the introduction of industry-standard customization tools, and the use of flexible products.
But either way you look at it, you’re in for a lot of work and exposing your company to risk. That said, ERP projects are rarely done on a whim—the reason you came to this decision is because something wasn’t working. Maybe as the result of an outdated system, maybe because you outgrew the product you were using, but definitely not in line with picking up a stick of gum at the checkout.
Pragmatic, Measured, and Success-Focused ERP Selection
Pragmaticism is the name of the game for companies seeking out ERP. Whether that means doing a ton of due diligence or vetting partners to ensure things work, the effort you put into selection will pay off in the long run.
As you dig into your potential solutions, keep a wary eye out for unscrupulous “partners,” dishonest sales tactics, and lowball offers, among other things. Here are a few things to watch out for.
Hammer Meet Nail: The Vendor-Specific Challenge
You’ve probably heard the idiom, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Well… for the sales staff at an ERP vendor, all they have available to sell is hammers. Too often, a vendor’s sales staff will get a prospect built up, making promises that will either blind side the implementation team or end up costing you more than you’d hope to pay.
In turn, you end up with a poor software fit, sold on a software that might not have been great for your business in the first place. These are able to be saved—the right partner can undo damage and realign the software for your needs (we’ve saved a few), but you’ll essentially end up paying for two implementations.
We’re excited to announce an upcoming whitepaper built to explore this topic, but the only way to get it first is to sign up for our email list.
When Mismanaged Expectations Turn into Misguided Decisions
Added to this, it’s easy to get caught up in promises of quick implementations, low costs, and unattainable goals. Even those who have done everything right can get caught up in the fast movement. Heck, you can have an internal team ready to lead the project, a project sponsor who can get everyone on board, and communications initiatives in place, but if you’re promised something impossible, you’re still bound for an unfortunate end. We discussed this in great detail in our article titled Finding an Implementation Partner Who Can Manage Your Expectations.
Getting Caught up in the Moment: Seeing Your Partner become a Predator
Another big mistake companies face is getting caught up in the moment. Some resellers have mastered the art of promising grey areas to customers. If you ask, “can [product] do this?”, the vendor will reply “Sure,” They might not dictate the costs involved.
Lowball offers happen. You’re signing a contract for thousands of hours of services, months-long implementation windows, and with thousands of moving parts. It’s easy for a company you’re working with to tell you what you want to hear, knowing that you’ll be three quarters of the way through a project before they have to admit they’re wrong.
It Might Not be Easy—But It Can be Exceptional
We don’t like to beat around the bush in New York. In fact, it’s why MIBAR has become synonymous with the term New York ERP Partner. We’d love to say that the ERP implementation process is failsafe—but then we’d be lying. We know that the wrong partner can ruin a client’s experience with the right software, because we’ve fixed “failed” implementations.
When you turn to us, you know that we’ll help you find a solution that works for you—not for our revenue numbers. At MIBAR, we want you to find the right vendor and the right partner. This is why we want to provide you honest, straightforward advice about the selection and implementation process—because we’re confident in our work and confident that one of the ERP options we provide will provide minimal risk and maximum reward.
We welcome you to get in contact with us and learn more about the selection and implementation process by reading the resources below: