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Last month, we hosted an ERP Boot Camp in Anaheim, CA. Attendees from roughly ten different companies across the country attended. Anyone from project managers, team members, CIOs and executives. It was a great mix of organizations and team members that are getting ready to embark on their ERP implementations.

In these three-day training sessions, we seem to learn as much from the participants as they tend to learn from us. Here are a few things we learned from this last event:

ERP implementations are generally part of a larger business transformation. Although most participants attended this event because it was focused on ERP, business transformation was the “real” topic they wanted to learn more about. Whether the solution involves new ERP software, business process reengineering, organizational change management or something else, this was a group that was struggling with how to best manage their business transformations.

Customization is a common fear. Like most executives, those in this group appear to be terrified of choosing an ERP system that they will eventually need to customize. We also discussed an interesting statistic as part of the conversation. According to our 2015 ERP Report, more than 90% of companies end up customizing their ERP systems. Talking to our attendees really gave us an interesting perspective at the executive level.

Don’t be fooled by unrealistic expectations. About half of the participants were in the ERP software selection process – and the frequent mismanaged expectations that go along with it. We heard stories about the “quick hit” implementation proposals that will be impossible to execute and a host of other misinformation common in evaluation processes. One of the keys to a successful ERP implementation is to define a project plan, budget and resource needs that are realistic and give you the best chance for success. Misaligned expectations early in the project typically lead to a domino effect of bad decisions and corners getting cut later in the project.

While there were many other topics discussed during Boot Camp, these were just a few of the biggest and most interesting lessons from our participants. The good news is that these organizations are all headed in the right direction and have a clear understanding of where their focus needs to be as they continue down the path of ERP success.

Learn more by registering for our upcoming ERP Boot Camp in Denver, CO on February 17-19.