So the project has gone belly-up, what now?

December 3, 2015 from LinkedIn – “Most SMEs and many larger companies are not experienced in running projects. It is just not something they need to do on a regular basis and certainly not with this much at stake.  An investment in the services of a skilled internal Project Manager is rarely a waste of money. It will often cost you more to skimp in this area and then have to recover afterwards…” Read more 180 View – The author, a business development manager for Pronto Software, makes a number of really good comments on why implementation projects fail and […]

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Demonstration Scripts

A demonstration script is critical to the selection process but there are huge differences on how to do this. Rather than criticize the techniques we have read, I will share our methodology with you: Two demonstrations – You don’t want to go too deep on the first demonstration unless you are positive that the vendor will not waste your time (or their time) 1st demonstration – We base it on a small subset of the most important requirements in the RFP and limit the time to about 3 hours. We allocate a certain amount of time to each requirement and then […]

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Should you restrict ERP selection to just the major vendors?

We don’t think so. There are many excellent products built by small companies for specific industries that are worthy of consideration. But there are risks that the vendor will not be around for the long haul. There are a number of ways to evaluate long-term viability: The system is built with old technology that is getting really difficult to support by the boomers ripe for retirement. There is a lack of investment in the system. Ask to see the product roadmap and recent enhancements. The company is not profitable. Private companies will be reluctant to release this but it can […]

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How to measure whether an ERP implementation is successful

It’s not time to celebrate when the system goes live. Nor is it time to celebrate even if it’s on time or on budget. It’s only time to celebrate if the benefits in the business case have been realized. Ideally the benefits are in the form of a measurable metric or a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) such as the time it takes to process an order. However many organizations don’t identify these measures of success and even if they do, they promptly forget about them as soon as the implementation starts as they have enough on their plates to consume […]

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How to get an accurate estimate of ERP implementations costs

We ask the finalists in our software selection projects for a detailed breakdown of implementation costs by module (g/l, a/r, a/p, purchasing…) and by task (customization, integration, conversion, project management, design…). We provide them with a lot of information to make the estimate possible: detailed requirements business process review which includes process, problems, type of problem, and impact of problem high level process maps access to our client to get the tour and ask whatever questions are needed The finalists are asked to demonstrate a prototype of the to-be business process allowing them to validate assumptions. But sometimes, even with all […]

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ERP Cost Estimates

Buyer beware when estimating the costs of an ERP implementation. There are so many unknowns that make it really tough to avoid unpleasant surprises. The vendors are very reluctant to fix price anything when it comes to the services required because of the many unknowns – scope of work, who does what, capabilities and available time of buyer resources…. It’s especially difficult for the vendors in the early stages of the selection process. At the same time, the buyers want to have a decent ball park of costs before pursuing a potential solution. But there are guidelines that will help. […]

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Technology Investment Survey

June 1, 2015 from CPA Magazine and written by Michael Burns – “Making a business case for technology investments is challenging – and potentially career limiting. Anything you can learn from our peers’ experience in making these investments can be helpful in crafting a case. \ That is why we decided to run our own IT satisfaction survey in CPA Magazine. It ran from January to April 2015, and is available at cpacanada.ca/ITsurvey15. QUESTIONS The survey included a few questions about investments in enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) and business intelligence (BI). We chose these products mainly […]

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Beyond ERP and new technology, new options

2014 from PwC – “The brave new world of business application software is rapidly transforming how corporate IT departments source and implement all kinds of critical systems. Perhaps nowhere is this truer than in the realm of ERP systems, the software that runs virtually every large company in the world. CIOs are rethinking their approach to ERP, thanks to modular, cloud-based business applications that offer viable alternatives to the unwieldy, inflexible, and expensive systems that have long dominated the sector” Read more 180 View – The idea is that you can stitch together best of breed cloud-based/Software as a Service […]

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Would you select an ERP (or any) system from a small vendor?

We include small vendors in our system selection projects but only when we believe that they have a good client base, are really good for a specific industry and are using recent technology. A small company can also be a successful company and there are benefits to being a bigger fish in a smaller pond. You will see lots of small/unknown companies on our ERP portal at http://www.180systems.com/portals/erp/. But what about the concern that a small vendor will be acquired or if the small vendor is facing financial difficulties?  Financial problems may be temporary – for example the vendor might have just […]

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Murphy’s Law

Murphy’s Law is alive and well thanks to ERP implementations. The problems that often arise can be avoided and/or the impact reduced by good planning in advance and strong project management. Here are a few ways to fight Murphy: Ensure you have the right people (your A team) on the project and enough of their time is allocated to the project. Some key operational team members will need to be backfilled on their day jobs.  Talk to people who have gone through an implementation to get a sense of the time needed. Ensure the implementation plan proposed by the vendor is adequate. […]

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