New solutions can mean old headaches without it
In its desire to solve the problems of its old system, company leadership has been known to rush through the decision to buy a new ERP system without taking the time for proper due diligence. This isn’t skipped intentionally, but because the focus is so tight on fixing current issues. After the glow of a major new purchase wears off, the realization washes over the company – the ERP seems faster but the same problems persist. Essentially, they “bought the demo”, not the real functionality they needed.
That first wave of frustration gives way to grumbling and before you know it, the staff has created some clever derisive nicknames for your brand new system.
Part of the problem goes back to whatever leads people to cut corners on their due diligence while choosing an ERP. Once ERP vendors catch wind that you’re shopping for a new ERP, salespeople start flooding your inboxes and voicemails with product pitches, white papers, and quick demos. Every presentation is designed to look great and make you feel like your business will run 110% faster with the new technology.
With so many attractive options available, it becomes necessary to winnow the field down to a few options. Unfortunately, this process can lead people to gravitate toward the familiar, and they pick options that look similar to their current ERP.
What they end up with is a new system which replicates what the old system was doing but faster. Solutions that appeared easy to use in the demonstration are cumbersome at best when used 30 times a day. And in the worst of cases, a key business requirement is missed because the process was focused on what the old system did versus what will be needed to compete in future years.
Time for due diligence
Take a step back for due diligence. This will help ensure you are considering what is best for your company and what you actually need before you even look at ERP options. You may also want to consider an outside consultant. They will help guide this invaluable step and help you set a manageable timetable and expectations. They can head off problems before they begin. As an advocate for your business, the consultant can step between you and the vendors to shield you from time-consuming pitches and demos that aren’t the right fit for your needs.
In the end, it’s important to spend more of your valuable time gathering business requirements and identifying needs for future growth. Keep your goals and strategy clear and avoid getting bogged down with short-term problem solving. A new ERP system is a tremendous opportunity for your company that doesn’t (or shouldn’t) happen very often to remove those old headaches once and for all.