Problems With ERP- Many organizations are looking at ways to restart ERP projects that were deferred when the pandemic forced widespread lockdowns. Whether a company was in the midst of upgrading a legacy system or had been on the verge of moving forward on their first ERP software system, we suggested five ways senior executives can fast-track an ERP transformation safely and cost-effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic while warding off a potential “train wreck” as they recalculate and recalibrate their overall technology strategy.
At the same time, it is important for users to recognize that both vendors and integrators of ERP software systems are in a vulnerable position right now. They have been as hard hit by the shutdowns and recession as nearly every other business. Perhaps more than at any time, users are holding a great hand of cards in terms of their ability to negotiate or renegotiate favorable terms.
There are six things to understand when dealing with vendors and integrators.
1 – Know their weak points. You will be talking with a sales team. They are under enormous pressure from their organization right now to get you to sign a deal. Corporate profits for the year are on the line as is the bonus package each member of the team will get when you pick up a pen to ink the deal.
The ERP business is incredibly competitive when times are good; today, in the midst of a pandemic and steep recession they are likely to make reasonable concessions you demand. In some ways, it is like buying a new car. When the salesperson says, “I do not think that my manager will approve your offer” and you get up to leave the showroom, they’ll do what it takes to keep you from going to another dealer.
2 – Don’t take anything at face value. Sales teams are notorious for saying what they think a potential buyer wants to hear. They will assure you that they know all about your industry or sector even if their experience may be scant. The slick demonstration put on during the sales process may not be how the product will actually work when it goes live. Many of the software disputes we have litigated over the years had their origins in a vendor or integrator making misrepresentations during the sales process and demonstrating capabilities that did not quite work as demonstrated.
If they say it, ask them to write it.