How not to get into the ERP system

    There is a need for business automation, and business needs to be automated. However, for some reason in Russia, the statistics of such projects are not very impressive. There are many reasons for this, but one of them is the banal deception of clients at the negotiation stage, when they literally get dust in the eyes and tell success stories, and upon implementation the client understands that they are offering him a donut hole.

    Very often, the failure of a project to implement an ERP system is due to the fact that the system does not meet customer expectations at all. In the process of choosing a solution, the customer sees one thing (rather, he does not see, but hears), but in fact, when he tries to introduce the product, he realizes that he was literally deceived, and he has to develop elementary functionality at his own expense.
    Here are some tips that can help you significantly reduce the risks of choosing and implementing an ERP system:

    • Do not buy a pig in a poke and assume that they want to deceive you. Be on the alert and do not relax in the process of presenting an erp-solution (hmm, is it a solution? You still have to check it). The manufacturer should give you maximum information about the functionality of the system. And not just in the form of a colorful booklet, where it says that “we can do this, this and much, much more, and you will be just happy when you buy our product and things go with you like on that upward chart in our advertising booklet ". All the functionality of the system should be formally described and supported by instructions, where it should be written how exactly this or that functional area works.
    • Decide what you want. I recently asked one of the customers about the tasks that he would like to solve. The answer was brilliant - "I want to establish managerial accounting." Be more specific, write down your requirements in more detail. Decide on the specific tools that you need. The more detailed you describe your requirements, the more difficult it will be to fool you.
    • Give it a try. Try to get the opportunity to try the system that you are interested in. And not just “poke buttons”, but, for example, go through as many chains of specific business processes as possible and make sure what works and what’s not. Meet with a representative. Before the meeting, arm yourself with a list of functional requirements and get ready for the fact that they will try to splurge your entire presentation. Do not fall for the phrases “easy to configure”, “implemented a hundred times”, “this is not here, because this is a demo version”. Or they show you, or this is not. If not shown, then it is not! If you are shown something, but you do not understand it, do not hesitate to ask for a repeat. Go into the details and try to understand exactly how you will work with this system if you try to implement it.
    • Read the instructions. Ask the manufacturer to provide you with instructions for administering the system and instructions for users. In this part, as a rule, manufacturers have huge problems. And of course, this is a great field for the opportunity to earn money on the training of your users. Therefore, take these instructions and work on the test system for them. Try to understand how applicable they are in real life and how understandable they are. And if they tell you with a serious look that “we are developing separate instructions in each case,” I suggest you re-read the first paragraph of the article. Complete nonsense. No instructions - make money.
    • Readiness and readiness again. The more the product is ready for operation "here and now", the less it will cost you as a result, and the lower your risks of unsuccessful implementation. You should try to buy not a product that can potentially do anything, because it is said in that colorful booklet, but a product that can do a lot now. Therefore, when you watch a product, ask to show the product not abstractly, but specifically. For example, how does the system for managing costs, supplies, sales, etc. You don’t need to listen to the seller’s stories about “how spaceships plow the expanses of the universe” and how “we have implemented it a hundred times already”. Specifically, with what and who begins, where and what brings, what happens next, and how it all ends. Thus, you can understand what ready-made tools are in the system. Because it’s better to use some kind of ready-made tool, and maybe limit yourself a little in something, but 10 times cheaper than made “for yourself”, but 10 times more expensive. In addition, any development is a risk, because it is not a fact that it will work.
    • No gods burn pots. Any implementation of ERP is not only and not so much business consulting as a lot of routine work on setting up the system. This work is done by ordinary people. They are not gods, they just know how to do this, and even then not always. Because even they may not have instructions, oddly enough. And this work is best done independently. If there are instructions, of course. Do not be afraid to customize the product yourself. If there are quality instructions, you can handle it. And in the future you will be more independent from the manufacturer.
    • Seek reference contacts or even visits. No need to agree to contacts and meetings with the client’s IT administrator. They have nothing to do with ERP, and it’s much easier to “negotiate” an ERP seller with them. It’s better to try to contact the customer’s management.

    A simple example. Not so long ago, two very revealing potential customers turned to my company. One sent the requirements on twenty A4 sheets, and the other sent the phrase “I don’t understand anything about this, but I want everything to be automated. What can you offer me? ” In your opinion, in which case are there more chances to implement erp?

    Remember the main thing - to implement what is is much easier than to implement what is not.

    Also popular now: