Customer Perspective #3: Open heart surgery

Implementing an ERP system is much like an open heart surgery. You have only one attempt to make it right…

Below you will find the third part of our guest series by Guus Krabbenborg with the article concerning “Implementation” phase. Every company thinking about implementing an ERP system in a foreseeable future should read it.

Open heart surgery
Would you choose the hospital around the corner for an open heart surgery? It is conveniently close! And would you go for the provider with the lowest price? Of course, a polyclinical intervention saves the cost of staying the night! And you probably wouldn’t mind if your surgeon is an assistant in training, right?

An ERP implementation can be compared well with an open heart surgery. Medical science has already advanced so far that these complex operations can be performed very well. Which, however, does not mean that every surgeon has the necessary skills. During the operation the heart has to keep on beating and the intervention has to succeed at the first attempt. There are no second chances!

Nowadays, implementations can also be carried out well. But this does not mean that every provider of ERP or CRM software is also capable in this respect! During the implementation the processes within your company have to keep on running. And only few companies can afford a second implementation.

The success or failure of a ERP- or CRM-project is closely connected to the implementation. And the reckless manner in which companies treat this process is remarkable. Many companies ‘forget’ the importance of quality as soon as discounts are to be gained. Accept any consultant as long as
their fees are low enough. And without hesitation leave the customization undocumented. Whether this is smart? As the English say, very to the point:
Penny wise, pound foolish.

Who has requirements for the quality of his implementation has to prepare thoroughly. Which provider has the highest success rates? Who has demonstrable experience? With the system, but also within your sector? Ask for the CV’s of the people in the implementation team. And do not
decide before you have spoken to the prospective project leader.

Quality in implementation does require an investment. But the joys of low costs fade into the background as the frustration of bad quality persists.