If you are considering suing your ERP vendor for a failed ERP implementation, you need to ensure that you understand the process that is in front of you. ERP lawsuits are almost always difficult. Each presents unique challenges. Most importantly, they are extremely expensive. Below are some issues to keep in mind before deciding to sue your ERP vendor for a failed software implementation:
- Exhaust Your Options Before Filing Suit: ERP lawsuits are expensive, time consuming and they take your focus off your business. Before you decide to sue your ERP vendor for a failed ERP implementation, make sure that you have exhausted all your options. Before moving forward with an ERP implementation lawsuit, we usually advise our clients to make one last effort to get the ERP vendor to live up to its contractual obligations. This usually involves at least the following: (i) documenting critical issues with the software and attempting to get the ERP vendor to address those issues; (ii) dedicating more internal resources to the project; and (iii) seeking additional consulting resources from the ERP vendor so that more consulting services are dedicated to the project. Doing everything you can to get the system to work is often preferable to suing your ERP vendor for a failed implementation.
- Begin Building A Case Against Your ERP Vendor: Locate and gather important documents related to both the sales cycle and the implementation. Documents that will be critical to your ERP lawsuit will include, but not be limited to: (i) demonstration scripts; (ii) site visit agendas; (iii) sales meeting notes; (iv) budgets; (v) project status updates; (vi) documents detailing both the vendor’s implementation methodology and the ERP vendor’s project management methodology; and (vii) documents detailing your software selection methodology, such as Requests for Informaiton and Requests for Proposals.
- Honestly Evaluate Whether You Have A Case: ERP vendor contracts are notoriously one-sided. They often provide very little ability to recover meaningful damages and severely limit the type of claims you can bring. Further, just because the ERP implementation failed, does not mean that the ERP vendor breached the contract. Prior to bringing a case have an attorney experienced in suing ERP vendors for failed implementations review your case and give you an honest assessment of any pitfalls and challenges. You need to ensure that you fully understand the process that is in front of you and the risks associated with moving forward.
- Develop A Contingency Plan: If you are still using the ERP software, make sure you have a plan to continue to receive necessary support once you initiate the lawsuit. Also, consider how viable it is to begin evaluating replacement systems.
The best ERP lawsuit is the one that you don’t need to file. If you are considering suing your ERP vendor for a failed ERP implementation, make sure you understand what you are getting into, and make sure you have exhausted all your options. When you have decided that your best option is a lawsuit, consult experienced ERP software lawyers for honest opinions about the strengths and weaknesses of your case.