SAP defines Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) as the integration of the core processes needed to run a business into one single system.
The right ERP platform can transform your business, giving you actionable intelligence, helping you gain efficiencies in every aspect of your business, and much more.
Here at ERP Advisors Group, we help companies of all shapes and sizes select ERP software packages with multiple applications. Sometimes we’re a company’s first call, but often, they turn to us after they’ve selected a software application…and not always the right one.
Buyer’s remorse is real in the ERP software world, but our experience is that the reasons companies feel they’ve selected the wrong software are absolutely preventable. Here are some of the most common reasons companies give us for why a platform wasn’t the right fit:
Our team fell for a slick sales pitch. Sometimes clients claim that they were told an ERP platform would meet their needs, only to discover later that it did not.
We didn’t get buy-in from the appropriate stakeholders. Most clients are trying to implement a platform that works for a wide range of end users. When a client isn’t happy with the platform they chose, we hear frequently after the fact that they didn’t get the input from the people they should have.
We didn’t truly understand our requirements. It all comes down to communicating your needs to the company selling your organization an ERP platform, and if you don’t do this effectively, there’s a good chance you’ll end up with something you don’t want.
We went with the cheapest option. The budget was tight, and the board said to choose the least expensive option. We hear this reason a lot when companies explain what went wrong in choosing an ERP platform.
Reality check time: these mistakes are preventable, and if you’ve claimed one of them for why you chose the wrong ERP software, you should approach your process differently. While these reasons stand in some cases, they’re more like excuses for poor planning and bad communication. Had you outlined your requirements carefully and involved all of the important stakeholders in the process, you could have approached the selection process much better.
Four Real Reasons Companies Choose the Wrong Software
Now, let’s talk about some actual missteps to avoid—things that can go wrong even when you follow a seemingly well-thought-out ERP software selection process. Here are four situations we’ve encountered recently when clients chose the wrong ERP software—and what they could have done to avoid them:
They chose an upgrade instead of a new software application. One client had an ERP software in place that they weren’t thrilled with, but opted to go the cheap route: by upgrading the existing software for free (the software vendor’s offer so they wouldn’t lose them). The problem? The company had outgrown the software long ago. Lesson: an upgrade might work for the short term, but it also might do absolutely nothing to address the problems you had with your ERP platform in the first place. Free isn’t always free—and software that doesn’t fit your business will only drag you down.
They let one decision-maker decide for everyone. Recently, a client came to us explaining what went wrong with their last ERP software selection. They had chosen the software beloved by one person at their organization. Lesson: one person cannot make this decision. Even if you have an executive or manager who is overzealous about a particular software, it must be a team decision. Get buy-in from everyone whose opinion matters.
They went with the common ERP software for their industry. A client in a specialized industry recently worked with us to select a new ERP platform. For too long, they had stuck with the software that every competitor in their industry used as well because they didn’t want stray from the norm. The problem is, this software was dated with an infrastructure that worked well in the 1980s and 1990s. Lesson: Even if you’re the one to blaze a trail in your industry, sometimes you have to be willing to choose a different software. This is especially true if your industry-specific requirements are few and there are platforms out there that offer more depth of capability.
The person leading the ERP software selection process has a bias against a vendor. Sometimes, an executive on your team has had a less-than-great experience with a vendor that might meet your needs quite well. Perhaps they even vowed never to do business with that provider again. Lesson: Don’t let one person’s bias during their time at a former employer taint your decision-making process.
Bottom line: selecting an ERP software requires understanding your requirements and assessing the needs of many different stakeholders. It can be an overwhelming process, so if you need help, call ERP Advisors Group. We’ll walk you through it to ensure you don’t choose the wrong ERP software…due to mistakes, missteps, or both. Contact the team at ERP Advisors Group today.