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ERP Experts Survey | TEC 2019
Part Two: Expert ERP Project Advice From A-Z—The Inside Scoop

Words of Wisdom for ERP Success


We asked the experts what advice they’d offer a company before it starts an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software system selection and implementation project. This question was intentionally broad, and predictably, respondents took it in various directions. Still, patterns emerged among the answers. What follows is a roundup of the responses from the analysts, vendors, and consultants who participated in our survey. According to them, ERP success falls under five broad headings:

  • Devote the Right Resources
  • Understand Your Needs
  • Find the Right Vendor
  • Select the Right Partner and/or Consultant
  • Focus Your Attention

Words of Wisdom for ERP Success

Devote the Right Resources

There is so much at stake with an ERP project. To walk the talk you need to commit the resources:

  • “Allocate dedicated resources.”—Christine Dover, SAP
  • “You need to put internal people full time onto the project.”—Tim Hughes, Digital Leadership Associates
  • “Put your best and brightest on the project.”—Jarret Pazahanick, SAP/SuccessFactors Payroll Consultant
  • “Implementing an ERP is not a part-time job.”—Mehdi Aftahi, TEC

An ERP team will only perform as well as it is allowed to, and it requires the support of management for the politics of change to resolve positively:

  • “Involve senior management.”—Jovan Marjanovic, ProWerk Consulting
  • “Get management support for resource allocation.”—Scott Rich, Experlogix
  • “Get everyone in the organization on board for change.”—Alan Salton, abas ERP

Understand Your Needs

Some respondents focused on business process-defined requirements gathering:

  • “Review all internal business processes.”—Jarret Pazahanick, SAP/SuccessFactors Payroll Consultant
  • “Perform careful selection and validation of requirements and vendor.”—Kamal Ahluwalia, Eightfold.ai
  • “Buy based on real needs vs. IT mandates.”—Rory Granros, Oak Barrel Software
  • “Engage with someone (vendor, consultant) to map your current business processes, and to define your post-project business goals. It’s always money well spent, and if you do it with the right vendor, they should credit the cost against later professional services.”—Ned Lilly, xTuple
  • “Build consensus amongst the main stakeholders in the organization on the scope and expectations before starting the project.”—Mehdi Aftahi, TEC

Words of Wisdom for ERP Success

Find the Right Vendor

To choose ERP software is to choose a vendor. Many experts framed their advice accordingly, giving pointers on different aspects of vendor selection:

  • “[Perform] detailed vendor assessments.”—Jarret Pazahanick, SAP/Success Factors Payroll Consultant
  • “Find an ERP vendor who internalizes your business goals and objectives as their own and has a proven track record in your specific industry showing they know how to deliver results. Their feature set and modules will reflect industry expertise as a result—as your industry’s needs have been ingrained into their product roadmaps and the modules they’re selling now reflect that.”—Louis Columbus, IQMS
  • “Have an open mind. Don’t take the easy way out. Your perfect vendor might be the one Gartner doesn’t include in a Magic Quadrant or doesn’t rate highly. Vertical fit is paramount—and those grids with dots don’t begin to address those kinds of requirements.”—Brian Sommer, TechVentive
  • “Ensure yourself the vendor you choose will have the right stack to maximize the impact of AI and ML (not just bolt it onto their old stack).”—Julie Fraser, Iyno Advisors Inc.

Words of Wisdom for ERP Success

Select the Right Partner and/or Consultant

Many comments focused on the value of getting outside help:

  • “Select an ERP implementation partner with care (too expensive not to work with a good partner).”—Skip Reardon, Sage Intacct
  • “Get a good partner with a proven track record for ERP implementation success in companies similar to your own.”—Igor Grubisic, MSG Global
  • “Focus on strategic alignment. It can be extremely useful to bring in an outside consultant to help align internal constituents and provide a project management framework.”—Aron Ain, Kronos
  • “Get great help from a partner that puts your interests ahead of their own.”—Andrew McCarthy, Workfront
  • “Involve independent advisors and experts throughout the process, from evaluation to implementation to post go-live for health checks.”—Jon Reed, Diginomica
  • “Bring in truly independent third-party resource to help with vendor and implementer selection.”—Jarret Pazahanick, SAP/SucessFactors Payroll Consultant
  • “Make sure you select the system integrators with the same diligence applied to your vendor and solution choice. They play a bigger role in providing the solution than you think.”—Mehdi Aftahi, TEC

Words of Wisdom for ERP Success

Focus Your Attention

On a high level, some respondents commented on how to address the enormity of an ERP project through focus:

  • “Deploy in small pieces rather than massive, multiyear projects. Focus on areas with greatest return.”—Branislav Djurkovic, Apollo
  • “Use the 80/20 rule. And do not solve for every exception use-case.”—Dana Gardner, Interarbor Solutions

“Find an ERP vendor who internalizes your business goals and objectives as their own and has a proven track record in your specific industry showing they know how to deliver results. Their feature set and modules will reflect industry expertise as a result—as your industry’s needs have been ingrained into their product roadmaps and the modules they’re selling now reflect that.”

—Louis Columbus, Principal, IQMS

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