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Supersize Me! How to Manage ERP Software Expectations

Perfect FitEveryone wants to be a superhero. We dream big from an early age and seldom shy away from a bigger goal or a better future. This desire crosscuts all levels of our society, from the nerdy guy asking out the prom queen to Donald Trump running for President. Businesses dream big as well and share the same desire for greatness. Their optimism and self-confidence certainly comes out in ERP system selections. However, every business is not a Tier I heavyweight like Walmart or General Electric – at least not yet.

A modest-sized but growing firm asked our team of ERP consultants to help them choose the “best-fit” ERP solution. They needed an enterprise system that would complement their current state and grow with them for the next several years.  Half-way through the implementation, I was on site during an all hands meeting with the General Manager. The General Manager praised their software selection for their ERP implementation. They had picked a perfectly respectable Tier II ERP system. It had all the right features and all the necessary “-ables” – dependable, upgradable, reliable and, most of all, affordable. However, some of the employees felt slighted. They stated that they “deserved” an SAP or Oracle implementation because, well, because they viewed themselves as a Tier I company.  In their minds, they were already a heavyweight in their part of the country and in their business circles.

It was a delicate moment. How do you tell a proud welterweight that he or she is not a heavyweight? I gently made the case that selecting SAP for their midsize company was like buying an 18-wheel tractor trailer that would be used to drive a few miles to and from a supermarket every day. It would certainly not need to haul more than a dozen bags of groceries 99% of the time. If they purchased the massive 18-wheeler, they would be leaving a lot of unused and unnecessary capability on the table and paying a steep price for it. What they really needed was a mid-sized car with a roomy trunk; something along the lines of a Honda Civic: dependable, easy to drive, affordable and long lasting.

My Irish grandmother always said, “Darlin’, ‘ter’s a lid fer every jar.” The same is true for ERP solutions. An ERP consulting team like Panorama can help your business diagnose its current state and future desires. Our PERFECT Fit™ methodology enables us to match your business with the best ERP software for your business and ensure that it is tailored for your business’ current and future needs. It may not be the most expensive or most popular software but it will fit you like your favorite clean shirt with a good pocket. When you have prospered (via the ERP implementation!) and grown into a 400-pound gorilla like Exxon Mobil or Ford, I will be the first to congratulate you and work with your team to find the correct Tier I solution for your billion dollar empire.

Written by Rich Farrell, Senior Manager of Client Services at Panorama Consulting Solutions.

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Written by The Consultants' Corner

The Consultants' Corner features blog entries direct from our ERP consultants. These blog entries provide real-world examples and advice related to ERP software selection projects, ERP implementations, business process reengineering and optimization, IT strategy initiatives and organizational change management.

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