In the ERP customer cases we litigate, the blame for a failed ERP software implementation lies squarely with the ERP vendor. The most common reasons we see for failed ERP implementations include the following:
- The ERP Vendor Oversells The Software: It is common for ERP vendors to overpromise and under deliver the ERP software’s functionality and exaggerate the software’s fit for a customer’s business needs. Despite a customer’s best efforts to evaluate and select an ERP system, ERP vendors often engage in puffery and misrepresentations to meet sales quotas. When this happens, customers are often so far into an implementation that they feel compelled to pay for expensive customizations to try to save ERP software that is riddled with unsalvageable functionality gaps.
- Implementation Costs Are Underestimated: In order to close a deal, ERP vendors often grossly underestimate the cost of the implementation. This results in the customer paying more to complete the implementation and may result in missed deadlines and a delayed go-live.
- Inadequate Project Management: ERP vendors often take short-cuts on project management or fail to devote adequate project management resources to a project because of resource constraints. This results in part-time project management or remote project management that is rarely successful.
- Failure To Sufficiently Test the Software: The lack of adequate ERP vendor project management resources can lead the ERP vendor to take short-cuts on critical project management tasks like conducting proper testing and dry-runs prior to go-live.
- Inadequate User Training: ERP vendors often fail to properly train users in how to use the software and fail to train users using real data and real transactions. Without proper training users are ill-equipped to use the software in a production environment.
- Inadequate Vendor Resources: ERP Vendors always commit to provide a seasoned them of ERP consultants with deep industry experience. The reality can be very different. We often see ERP vendors assign consulting neophytes to projects that not only lack industry experience but are unfamiliar with the software product being implemented. There is often a revolving door of consultants on a project with each new person requiring redundant training to get up to speed on the implementation project. Sometimes ERP vendors use a customer implementation as a training ground for new consultants.
- Failure To Properly Integrate Software: ERP vendors sometimes under-test the system to intentionally conceal defects and meet milestone and deliverable deadlines. Often this results in a failure to perform proper integration testing to determine if the ERP system can interface with other non-ERP systems on which a customer might depend.