Real Cost To Complete an ERP Implementation
We have written many blogs and talked to many clients about the cost involved in implementing an ERP system. That is usually every organizations biggest concern when considering taking on a project of this magnitude. As an ERP Consultant, we do the best we can to help a company recognize the technology costs and additional expenses they may incur up front. What isn’t talked about enough is the true cost to complete an ERP implementation. There is an “X” factor representing overall time plus overall cost, and the addition of overall enterprise cooperation. Science and technology alone will never ensure a successful ERP implementation.
What I am referring to with overall enterprise cooperation is the real and often overlooked emotional effort that goes into successfully integrating an ERP system and its best practices into the corporate culture. Lack of gaining cooperation from users in an ERP implementation is the number one cause of failure in an ERP project. I just recently spoke to one of our newer clients about an ERP implementation they had attempted prior to working with us at 2W Tech. One thing he spoke about was the lack of appropriately selecting an internal project team that made sense. The decision makers on his team had no technology knowledge and showed little interest in the ERP project. The members of their staff that had technology expertise were not in decision making roles. So basically in a nutshell, the lack of buy-in on the importance of the ERP project started at the C-level and because of that, there was no decision maker in the organization pushing the users to adopt the new system. The other issues this caused is there was no one on the project team in a role that could understand and vent changes that needed to be made to the system. This also means there isn’t anyone with a vested interest in the system to champion the system. You can’t expect subordinates to jump on board and start using a system and suggesting improvements if your top level employees aren’t.
A successful ERP implementation requires corporate leadership from the top rung to the bottom level managers to display enough fortitude to get the ball across the finish line. You have to be 110% committed as an organization to do everything that needs done, when it needs to be done. It is a slippery slope because no organization wants to point to their own employees as the cause of a project failing. In fact, most organizations don’t even consider that as a potential failure point. They typically assume there is a technological reason why the ERP system didn’t suddenly fix their issues. We have brought on several clients that had just had an ERP installed and were not happy with the results. Although, we would have preferred to be the partner of choice for their installation, we were still able to come in and evaluate areas of concern. The truth is, there hasn’t been many that havent had issues stemming from enterprise cooperation. Sure, there have also been technology challenges as well, but the amount of ERP projects that happened without a proper plan and internal team in place is mind blowing.
If you are considering having an ERP system installed in your organization, proper planning to ensure the best possible outcome is a must. If you are in the ERP selection investigation phase and considering costs. Make sure you take into consideration corporate buy in. Make sure you are looking for a system that is user friendly. Make sure you are using an ERP Consultant or Partner that can properly help you create a project plan and implement this plan. You have to trust that this partner is a good fit for your organization and your company culture. If your Consultant can fit into your organization, they can better guide your organization through your implementation. These are all the things you need to keep in mind when evaluating the true cost to complete an ERP installation. If you are considering an ERP system, 2W Tech is proud to be an Epicor ERP partner and is currently doing installations for Epicor 9, Epicor 10, and Epicor 10.1, as well as helping you bring your legacy Epicor system up to speed. Please contact us today to see how we can help your organization.