It has been said that ERP products are highly commoditized, and that finding the right integrator is the biggest key to success. I am inclined to agree.
An experienced consultant (or team) solves a good majority of problems in an ERP implementation. You want someone who has been there… and done that… 20+ times for your specific situation. Your situation consists of your industry, your company size, your unique processes.
Treat interviewing your consultant/integrator like interviewing a job candidate. If you are a manager in job interview, which would you rather hear? “This what I did..” or “This is what I would do…”. Historically, vendors like Microsoft and SAP would distribute leads based on geographic location. This is a big mistake. In today’s world, a New York based integrator can teach, configure and audit an ERP system anywhere in North America effectively. You want an integrator with frequent gotomeeting miles and not American Airlines miles.
A good integrator will verbalize the warning signs early on.
- Lack of commitment from executive personnel – this closely relates to budget expectations (expected and contingency).
- Poor ROI – Inability or lack of value to overcome the cost and risk of the implementation.
- Lack of internal horsepower – you cannot understand or complete your assigned tasks. ERP implementation for a $40M company consumes about 20 internal hours per day if you do it correctly!!!
- Inaccurate scope – Just because you tell someone something on a given day does not mean that they learned it, can repeat it, or teach others. ERP is big change initiative! Changing behavior take about three times as long you expect.
- Lack of insight – You do not know what you do not know. This where the above document, document, document comment really plays an import role. The single best documentation efforts you can complete are (1) scenario documents and (2) Ops manuals/videos. The scenario documents help create training, quizzes and certifications. The ops manual/videos help you efficiently re-teach.
Here is an article that states the common pitfalls better than I can:
In my humble opinion, the pain associated with a bad implementation is never worth the money derived from the project.
I hope this helps!
About Chuck Boecking: I am an ERP educator. I believe that open source ERP have achieved mainstream capabilities, and as a result, more companies can create greater efficiency across their organization. I started using the iDempiere code base in 2003. Back then, it was called Compiere. In 2006, I started my first multi-million dollar installation. Since then, ADempiere has helped me create great success with distribution and manufacturing companies all over the world. My vision of success is to find companies that can best use open source ERP to help them achieve a single, global instance that drives a discontinuous increase in profitability. I believe that organizations win when they own their technology.
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