ERP Implementation and Integrators – The REAL Job

This is a followup to a previous post on Hourly Rates and ERP Implementations. I had the privilege of listening in on a mid-implementation review and had came away with several insights. This post is about another.

ERP Implementation Goal

Insight: The job of the ERP implementer is not just to make the software work and the employees trained. The job of the implementer is to correctly implement the software to produce ROI. This is what the customer looked for when they started the ERP implementation in the first place.Frustrated Employee during ERP implementation photo

What does this mean?

It means that most ERP implementations (including the one reviewed) wind up focusing on problem resolution, data entry and correction, and basic employee training. Most companies don’t realize that they will spend a few months getting back where they were with the old software. For the first few months, producing an invoice, writing a check, etc. will be hard. The company will need support. Learning will take place. It’s here that many ERP implementations end.

Fixing the ERP Problem

These implementations aren’t done. After everything is back to normal (hopefully better than normal), the real work of the implementation begins: figuring out how to use the information and new efficiency in the software to make money.

The road toward this type of success begins in the beginning. Are the goals of the implementation (particularly the ROI goals) defined. Can the implementer and employees be held accountable? Is there sufficient time to get to these goals? What are the risks and roadblocks? Is there a business case for the ERP implementation?

With measurable goals, it should be pretty straightforward to determine where things went wrong. It’s also possible that the needs analysis went wrong and custom or customized ERP software is called for.

Most implementations run out of budget and time before they get there. If you’re in this place, drop me a line or give me a ring at 901-922-6555. You can get the ROI you anticipated from the software.