The One Dirty Little Secret No Vendor Tells You About Your ERP Project Until It’s Too Late
We’ll Show You How to Make Your ERP Implementation a Smooth Cruise Up The Freeway Instead of a 20 Car Pile-Up?
Say you have an important parcel you want to be shipped from your warehouse in Melbourne to a major customer in the Sydney CBD. Due to its size, weight and shape the only way to get it there is to road freight it.
So you’ve called the freight company, given them the details, they’ve quoted you a set price, picked it up, and then the driver calls you to say he’s arrived in Sydney and he’d like to be paid.
You check the invoice, and you realise your parcel is in a depot in Liverpool on Sydney’s outskirts – many kilometres short of the CBD. So you call him back and get your first surprise. You’ve been slugged an excess fuel charge because traffic was heavy, and he’s used 100 litres more than expected. How is this my problem you cry?
Many ERP systems are implemented the same way – layer upon layer of surprises.
Because the sales team has nothing to do with the implementation team. Their estimate is based on some form of vague past experience, fear of their competition and the eagerness to get your business. So they underquote, hoping they can manage your expectations nearer to completion.
A professional truck driver would surely know what it takes to get from point A to point B.
So now your valuable, business-critical parcel is held hostage in a depot 1,000 kilometres away and the ‘discussion on price’ begins.
Your truck driver recommends that instead of costing it out by the litre of fuel used, he’ll cost it out by the hour.
“I reckon it’ll be between 10 to 15hrs,” he says which seems like an honest answer.
You as the customer know that Sydney is 900km away, and the speed limit is 110km per hour. So that should make it 12; hours which leaves a big gap between 7½ and the 15 hours quoted. The truck driver explains that by law for every 3 hours driving time he must have a 1-hour break. The road goes through towns and the traffic along with the ever-present road works slow him down. Given this explanation, the 15 hours quoted seems a very understandable figure.
So why aren’t ERP systems costed the same way? Nearly all ERP systems are quoted by the hour. Many of them have no upper time limit or perhaps something vague like 4 weeks. I’ve seen quotes stating simply X dollars per hour, and we do not stop until you are happy. OH NO!
Time for the next surprise – they’ve still got your parcel, and it’s in their depot in Liverpool –not in your customer’s hands. You finally read the fine print you should have read before you signed the agreement and learned that delivery to Sydney is to their depot. Delivery to the CBD is extra…
How is this like an ERP project?
Simple – go-live is only 90% of the journey.
Just like Liverpool is 90% of the way to Sydney, turning on your ERP system is not 100% of the journey but no one tells you about this.
The last 10% – the most important 10% – is the go-live support, training and warranty period.
My company Archer Technology only provides quotes that include post-go-live support, full training and support through the warranty period.
All this is included in your quote, so you get no nasty last minute surprises because let’s face it, 90% of the project is worse than no project at all.
Like the parcel – if it was sitting on your desk you have options to find another company but now it’s held for ransom in a depot you have no control over. You either pay more, or you never see your parcel again.
Does this sound familiar to your last implementation disaster?
This is why Archer Technology Group offers only full delivery quotations.
You know, the one final, all-inclusive price for your complete ERP solution.
No arguments, no delays, no surprises and the right support and training for your people so your company keeps growing.
So, when you’re looking at the next quote in front of you, give some thought if the vendor has considered the last 10% and if not – ask them.
You’ll have a lot fewer unpleasant surprises if you do.
Larry Blode is the owner of Archer Technology Group. Archer recommends and sells Arrow Tencia ERP solutions that empower businesses to do what they do best – that is keep working and grow. Contact Larry directly via www.archertechnologygroup.com.au