I recently spoke with a company with a unique story — they were actually growing their landscape supply business despite the recession. They credited their SAP Business One software with helping them do so.
But when I asked Bamboo Pipeline about any problems it experienced with the software, its one gripe was a common one — the ERP implementation took twice as long as the company was told it would.
The sentiment is consistent with a recent report by Panorama Consulting Group. Of the more than 3,000 companies surveyed, 93% said their ERP implementations took longer than they expected and 65% indicated that they went over budget. Companies named lack-of employee buy-in and lack of the proper ERP skills as the two main culprits for ERP implementation problems.
Our readers have been lending some interesting advice on how to avoid ERP implementation failures, in response to a recent blog post, “What’s the real trend in failed SAP projects?” The blog questioned who was really to blame for the recent Shane Co. and Select Comfort SAP ERP implementation failures — the software, the system integrators or the company’s management.
Ensuring that you have the right skills on your project team is cited in multiple responses. In that light, SAP’s announcement this week that it will focus on increasing the quality of its workforce — largely through pushing SAP certification — is quite interesting.
RITESHBHUSHAN wrote that it may be easy to blame the offshore or Indian system integrators for the failures, but organizations need to be ready for how challenging an ERP implementation can be. His advice included forming an authentic and proven PMO (project management office) in charge of the implementation, and not relying on a makeshift project team.
SAPNANO advised customers to “look at a firm that does not bring in a new rep/evaluation every time they come in your door. DO NOT look just for price. What needs to happen is to have strong management who is willing to look at the quality of the SI team and employees, do a strong review of their quality and not to let them dictate by putting low caliber labor on-site or off-site just to have sheer numbers, as this would be terrible.”
Is SAP certification the way, or at the very least a way, to better ensure qualified people will be working on a project? Is it one way to help stem ERP implementations from going over budget or over schedule?