ERP Vendors - How to Spot the Empty Promises
We’ve all seen the headlines about the legal conflicts between ERP vendors and the clients who’ve take their grievances to the courts. Choosing the best ERP vendor is a project in and of itself, with potential results that run the gamut between a botched implementation and a smooth installation. Apptricity develops and implements software that automates business processes, so we’ve come across several new customers who turned to us to fix the mess their ERP vendor left behind. Are you preparing to start an ERP project of your own? If so, here are some of the empty promises to listen for when choosing an ERP vendor.
Empty Promise 1
I Promise It'll Work On Time.
ERP solutions are complicated and can be difficult to properly set up for a business. Many ERP vendors promise to get the software up and running quickly, even when the situation dictates that it won’t be possible. Hershey's missed out on $100 million worth of Hershey's Kiss orders due to a bad ERP installation process and Waste Management's botched 18-month ERP installation took five years when the time spent to settle their lawsuit was factored in.
Investigate your vendor carefully to get a sense of their track record. If they have a strong history of deploying ERP software in environments similar to yours on-time and on-budget, you probably have a winner. If not, you should consider moving on.
Empty Promise 2
I Promise I'm Selling You Exactly What You Need.
While most businesses will not experience the $100 million dollar installations that are common in Fortune 500 companies, ERP software is large and expensive. This can create a great deal of opportunity for ERP vendors to pad charges by selling you software and hardware that you don’t need. In today's market, a vendor who does not offer you a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) ERP tool as an option is either behind the times or trying to get a larger one-time purchase from you. On the other hand, if they force SaaS on you even though it does not fit your business, they may be trying to lock you into a contract and a long-term revenue stream for them.
Empty Promise 3
I Promise We Can Do That.
It’s not completely unknown for even a large ERP vendor to promise some bit of functionality they don’t actually offer. Why? Because usually the client is knee-deep - or further - into the actual implementation before they find out the system isn’t capable of doing everything that was initially guaranteed. Though most ERP vendors pin their reputations to a list of satisfied clients, there’s always going to be an overzealous provider willing to oversell in order to make the sale. Research is vital, particularly in a situation where you are intending to partner with someone for the long term.
Most ERP vendors are reputable businesses that put their customers first, but keeping your eyes open is still a good idea. Your own vigilance is the best defense against becoming a victim of a bad vendor's empty promises.
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