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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ERP: Lessons From the Field

March 27, 2015 from CFO – “Senior finance executives share their advice on selecting and implementing enterprise resource planning systems.” Read more 180 View – CFO asked the executives a number of questions including about value, total cost of ownership, flexibility, how to evaluate ERP vendors and implementation advice. One piece of advice was “Invest your best people in the process.” […]

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ERP Support Requirements Range Widely

March 2014 from computer economics – “…Our study, ERP Support Staffing Ratios, shows the typical range of ERP support staffing ratios for installations of all sizes. At the median, there are 58 users per ERP support staff member, rising to 131 users per ERP staff member at the 75th percentile. At the 25th percentile, each ERP staff member supports just 29 users…” Read more 180 View – A key question in the selection process should be the effort required to internally support the system. It is really hard to get this information from the vendors and references should be asked […]

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Lesson Learned

Our software selection process includes scripted demonstrations. The first demonstration is based on requirements, takes on average of 3 hours and is used as a way to select two final vendors for a more detailed demonstration based on business processes. The script can be challenging and some vendors would rather perform their usual demonstration sometimes called a dog and pony show. These vendors typically suffer the consequences as our clients will judge them harshly for not following the script. But we did recently experience a case where the vendor did not follow the script very well and our client did […]

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Lesson Learned – Get on 1st Base

I was assisting a large company operating in one of the Caribbean islands. The company was involved in a wide variety of industries and used a home grown system to run their operations. My job was to help them select a new system. Although I followed what I consider best practice in selecting a new system, I did not appreciate the limitations of what was possible. I was trying to hit a home run when the best we could ever do would be to get on 1st base. So the lesson (learned) is that best practice for one organization is […]

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The complex art of estimating

December 2011 from CAmagazine and written by Michael Burns – “Few complex projects are undertaken without some estimating being done. Whether it’s a construction company that needs to do a custom project or an accounting firm that needs to prepare a proposal for a complex audit engagement, someone (often several people) will have to take a stab at calculating the effort and cost required to finish the job…” Read more […]

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How to Document Requirements

June 2010 from CAmagazine written by Michael Burns – “Before replacing any system, you need to document your requirements. Obvious, right? You just have to talk to the people working with the existing system and ask them for the requirements. But that would be a huge mistake, for a number of reasons.  If employees are afraid the new system will automate a big part of their job, they might be reluctant to tell the whole story. Also, they might be unable to think outside of their own box, or they might think certain tasks are not worth mentioning. There is […]

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