Self-implementations of ERP. It is okay!

June 28, 2013

When it comes to retail business solutions, we like to encourage self-implementation where we can. Are we crazy?  

ERP/CRM failure rates are high.  Some say as high as 75%.   In our experience, this boils down to: 

  • Sold the wrong product.  ERP systems are sold not purchased.  This means that you are constantly exposed to being sold a bill of goods that simply cannot work.  The worst part of this is that it does not manifest itself until post-sale; when the investment has already been made. 
  • Poor planning and execution.  To cut corners and "reduce" costs, vendors offer "quick start" packages or skip over the meticulous planning (and controls) that are necessary for a successful  ERP deployment.  We can tell you for certain that this is a recipe for failure.  ERP systems cannot be deployed like you can email, QuickBooks or anti-virus. 
  • Change management.  Like it or not, your employees do not like change.  To avoid change they can become resentful, nervous or even "malicious".  This means the project can be doomed before it even started.

Now notice; none of these reasons involve the actual implementation!

In fact, ERP implementations rarely go wrong provided all the other reasons are addressed.  Because of this, we are firm believers that retail customers, especially with software-as-a-service, can perform most of the implementation tasks so long as it is being managed by a team with deep expertise in best practices and the technology that is used.

To pull this off:

  • There MUST be a comprehensive process/project. This is performed by management consultants/project managers.
  • The plan MUST be fully adopted by management and the implementation team
  • A budget needs to be set aside for mentoring, coaching and milestone/checkpoint analysis 

The advantages are clear:

  • Significantly reduced implementation costs, that the customer controls
  • Higher levels of knowledge for when you go live; reduces training/support costs and confusion
  • Better chance of adoption by involvement
  • Better quality implementation that maps real-life as well as theoretical best practice
  • Ironically, less overall risk

At SuiteRetail, we are flexible enough to separate project management from the implementation and allow you to self-implement your own solutions in a controlled way.   

Contact us

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