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9 Mistakes to Avoid in Your ERP or OMS Selection

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Studies show that more than 50% of all ERP and OMS systems are not installed on time and within budget. A significant number of companies spend 8 to 12 months after go live adapting to the new system.

What are some of the mistakes that lead to these outcomes? We all operate from our experiences. Many companies and their key management have not selected an ERP or OMS before, or not in a long time.

Here are 9 mistakes to avoid in order to increase your chances of success:

Mistake #1: Setting wrong initial expectations

There are typically five things management always wants to know upfront in the project before the detail system selection process proceeds:

  • What are your company’s systems requirements from a functional perspective?
  • What are the gaps between available commercial systems and your company’s needs which could require modifications or lack of functionality?
  • What is the TCO (total cost of ownership) for the entire project?
  • What is the schedule to complete the process?
  • What internal and external resources are required to implement and support the project?

Catch what I just wrote: They want some idea of the answers to very difficult questions before the detail work is performed. These are not unreasonable expectations but for those with no experience in selecting and implementing an ERP it may be a coin toss in terms of accuracy. As a result your project sets expectations which may be faulty and difficult to deliver on.

Mistake #2: Pushing selection responsibilities off onto IT

It’s not just IT’s project. Large-scale ERP and OMS implementations will change the way your company does business and how many employees will do their jobs. Assemble a strong cross-department project team drawing from those who will use the system. Be sure to have executive sponsorship backing the project from start to finish, and a project manager capable of coordinating and supporting it.

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Who in your company will manage the project? Don’t rely on the vendor’s project manager, who will have their own responsibilities. They cannot be responsible for your people, the process changes, training and procedures and readiness. For large projects this is a full-time job; if you don’t have the resources, seek outside expertise.

Mistake #3: Failure to develop detailed business requirements

The best practice here is to develop a requirements document, gain user sign-offs and turn that into an RFP document. It will also be useful for scripting demos and tracking the mandatory changes required. We cannot overstate the importance.

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