What’s holding you back? You have a business that has grown leaps and bounds over the last 3 – 4 years and things are getting so hectic you are struggling to keep up. I now good problem to have! You also know if you don’t get a grip on everything somethings going to give and all hell will break loose! So what’s holding you back? FEAR! You have heard all the stories that a clear 20 to 25% of all ERP implementations end in failure. This in in a large part due to the scope of the implementation, ERP systems need to be implemented across the entire organization and the cost and time involved is more often than not under estimated. So how do you get over that fear? Simply put research! Fear is based in uncertainty and uncertainty stems from a lack of knowledge or understanding. You need to work with a vendor that will work for you. They need to understand who you are and what you do. If they can’t understand you they can’t help you. If an ERP vendor quotes you over the phone run for the hills. If they don’t insist on meeting with you and getting to know you before quoting you, you’re going to be in that clear 25% that consider their ERP implementation a failure. This will require several onsite visits before they quote you and an extensive discussion around systems and processes which will go a long way in helping you understand who you are. When all is said and done you should have an implementation plan in your hand that maps out who does what when and most importantly for how much. It will alleviate the fear of what to expect and identify the complexity and size of the task at hand. The most important elements will be the time frame and the simulation period. Nobody should work without a schedule of event. Just like you have production schedule, you should have an implementation schedule with task deadlines for both you and your vendor. This helps keep the cost under control as with most vendor implementation is billed hourly. The simulation period is the key to eliminating fear. You current systems and processes have been developed over time and you have come to rely on them. You trust them! Giving them up and transitioning to a new system is the scariest part of any implementation. That is why a simulation period is critical in every successful implementation. A simulation period is simply running both the old systems and the new ERP system in parallel until the new system function as well or better than the old system. When done correctly you will have no trouble letting go of you old security blanket! Nobody should be quoting implementation over the phone if they do run for the hills because you are destined to be in the 25% of failed implementations. The process mapping and the simulation are the secret sauce of success!