Sad to say, but there is plenty to talk about when it comes to rescuing ERP implementations gone bad. According to industry statistics, ERP implementations bog down all too often. In fact, it’s so bad that some ERP systems never go into production, a huge waste of resources. Why do companies find themselves in need of a rescue, and what can they do about it?
Culprit number one is working with the wrong consultant. Even in cases where a company failed to commit the resources needed to succeed, a good consultant would have made them aware of this pitfall in time to commit fully to the success of the project or else decide that a new ERP system wasn’t a high enough priority. Some consultants are so invested in having a company go with a particular ERP solution that they misrepresent what the software can do and how it fits the company’s needs. A common deceptive practice is to not disclose that massive customizations will be necessary to meet the specific needs of the company, driving the cost of the implementation through the roof. Another problem is a consultant who knows enough to sell the package but knows very little about the day-to-day details of the software when it comes time to implement the system. Consultants need to be so much more than just software resellers.
Fortunately, as long as the right package was selected in the first place, implementations can be rescued successfully. There are professionals who are experts at stepping in and turning things around. It’s sad that implementation problems are so common that some consultants become experts in rescues, but it is great for an organization to have a resource they can turn to when things go bad. The right consultant can get costs under control, get project planning schedules back on track, and ultimately realize the ROI that drove the need for an ERP system in the first place. Companies should search for someone with an established track record of rescuing projects involving a specific ERP system.
With the right consultant, the break in the implementation process can become an opportunity to make sure the organization’s processes are in-line with the ERP functionality and come up with ways to improve. The right consultant will also be able to instill confidence in the project in order to get buy-in from key stakeholders. Along the way, you’ll have all the benefits of working with a qualified consultant: improved business processes, effective change management techniques, highly-trained customization engineers, and ultimately, the ROI you’ve been hoping for.