In today’s world ERPs exist in almost all those organizations which have a vision to excel and we all know that not all ERP projects are successful. Whether it is the product features, its fitment to your business, managing the requirements and expectations of users or executive sponsorship – there are many reasons which can throw an ERP project haywire. Needless to say that ERPs can make or break an organization’s vision based on the success they achieve with it.
Looking at intense competition between top ERP product vendors and extreme pressure on their sales teams to achieve higher than ever targets, they tend to not only outsell others but also, at customer organization’s expense, try to convince them to move their existing ERP solution to their platform showing rosy pictures. Some of us fall in trap based on our satisfaction level with existing solution and some of us manage to escape. This article is for those of us who are considering replacing their ERP solution with a “perceived” better one. Let me look at some of the points that need to be taken care before we take up this journey, if at all:
ERP Implementation and Baby Birth: Like birth of a child, an ERP implementation is a process that is planned and takes lot of time. In the process of implementation, there are lot of pains and caring which is very similar to pains and caring we see during the pregnancy period of a “to be mother”. If you have parented a child, then there is no need for me to explain what it is like and how critical it is to the life of people around that child. Similar is the story of ERP. Also, as you are never sure that the 2nd child will be a better version of first one, you are never sure what will be the fate of the other ERP product that you are going to implement replacing the existing one. Extreme caution is the word to focus on.
Best of the breed solutions: A good alternative to replace your existing ERP solution can be adding a best of the breed business specific solution to the existing solution. This way, you can avoid the pain of replacing the entire solution which will also bring change management issues. Say, you are on XXXX ERP product which does not offer a pertinent transportation & logistics solution for your business and the sales team of rival product convinces you that their product is better than your existing product. Don’t jump on replacing right away. Explore more solutions in the market and there is a 75% probability that you will find a smaller, more agile and manageable best of breed solution which will be to talk to your existing ERP product and you will not only save on cost but also tha agony that went through when you implemented ERP first time.
Upgrade existing solution: It is highly likely that your ERP product vendor is also aware of the issues that you are facing and they have already come up with the newer version of the product which takes care of your additional requirements. Check out on this and if yes, consider upgrading. Normally, if you have bought the annual maintenance and software assurance from your existing vendor, the upgraded product is available to you free of cost.
Look at bigger picture: On the contrary, if you have acquired a new business that have a different ERP solution and it is important for you to bring them into same platform to achieve economies of scale and improved synergies, replacing their ERP solution with your won or vice versa, might makes sense. Evaluate and take decision.
So, if you review the above points before taking a decision on replacing your existing ERP with a new one, I am sure you life will be a lot less stressful.