When choosing an ERP vendor and entering into an ERP contract, customers expect that representations made by an ERP vendor about the features, capabilities and functionality of the enterprise resource software product are accurate. This is not always the case. To meet sales quotas, ERP vendors sometimes overpromise and under deliver the ERP software’s functionality or exaggerate the software’s fit for a customer’s business needs. If you believe that your ERP vendor has misrepresented the software’s functionality, or misrepresented the software’s fit to your industry or business needs, you have several options available to you:
- Review The Software Warranty
Read over the software license agreement and look at the software warranty. If the misrepresented functionality reads on that warranty, you may be able to leverage the warranty against your ERP vendor to get a resolution that is beneficial for you.
- Negotiate A Resolution With The Vendor
If the misrepresented functionality does not read on the software warranty, you may want to consider negotiating an alternative resolution with the vendor. This may involve purchasing professional services or consulting services at a discount to modify the software so that it conforms to what the vendor represented the software could do during the sales cycle.
- Engage A Third Party
If the vendor is unwilling to negotiate a resolution, consider engaging a third party to modify the software so that it works the way it was represented to work by the vendor. Requesting that the vendor pay a portion of the fees associated with getting the software to conform to the vendor’s representation would be reasonable. If the vendor is unwilling to allow a third party to access the software, then you need to consider other options.
- Return The Software
One option available to you is to return the software and seek a refund from the vendor. This is typically an undesirable option for most customers.
- Sue for Damages
If the software has truly been misrepresented and you are unable to negotiate a resolution with your ERP vendor, you should consider suing the ERP vendor for damages. While this is certainly not ideal, it may the only option you have. If you decide to sue your ERP vendor some of the typical claims brought against ERP vendors include: fraudulent inducement, negligent misrepresentation, breach of contract, and breach off express and implied warranty.