You’re About to Get Married

calm marriage You’ve decided that the time has come.  Maybe it’s the need to streamline your business operations or just to get a grip on your growth. Whatever the reason you have decided that an ERP system is what you need to take your business to the next level. Great idea! You do everything right. You get the whole team to buy in from top down, you analyze you processes and practices, and you put together a list of needs and a list of wants and a list of must haves. You research systems and prepare an RFI and then send out an RFP. You find the perfect system for your company and then…………! Sometimes things go along great for a couple of months even a year or two but eventually trouble starts. Things are no longer perfect, things you thought you liked you don’t and things you thought you could ignore and live with you can’t. Did you marry the first person you ever dated? Some will answer yes to that question and they know how blessed they are, if they are still together. Most dated several times, sometime getting into relationships for weeks months even years before one party says “not what I though you would be!” then the dreaded break up! My point is simple ERP Systems are complex and all-encompassing you will be living with this for the rest of your life. You will also be living with the vendor for the rest of your life and the relationship between you and them is very much like a marriage. You will depend on each other for information and direction and you need to be honest and supportive of each other if you are going to be successful. Sure like marriage there will be disagreements but it is how you handle those disagreements that matters. The single biggest contributing factor to ERP failures is a failure to communicate! The buyer doesn’t spend enough time getting to know the vendor or the vendor doesn’t spend enough time getting to know the buyers business and more importantly their personnel. That lack of knowledge leads to mistakes and misunderstandings which leads to a he said she said conflict which often leads to DIVORCE. Like real life divorce cost money! Before you buy take time to get to know the vendor and make sure the vendor take time to really understand you. Ask questions to test their knowledge of your company and your industry. Listen to their questions for you, are they though provoking in-depth questions that dive deep into your business or canned standard of the shelf stuff. What makes them stand out from the other vendors? Be sure you can work with them after all You are about to get Married!