Unless you have a very specific goal in mind, “success” and “failure” can be pretty nebulous terms. In many situations, the contrast between success and failure is black and white but when it comes to an ERP implementation, the vast number of key performance indicators (KPIs) can make this assessment both time-consuming and hard to understand.
Even if an organization has clearly-defined goals and knows exactly which KPIs are most relevant, the motivation of the project team to show that the implementation was anything but a success is understandably quite low. The ERP project team wants nothing more than to tell executives the good news: that the ERP software was worth the investment. Some project teams are so exhausted by the end of the implementation that they don’t even have the energy to adequately measure ROI. Whatever the case may be, independent ERP consultants can provide organizations with unbiased, accurate assessments that precisely measure ERP success.
According to our 2013 ERP Report, 60% of organizations employed the services of an ERP consulting firm. Unfortunately, only 5% of these organizations leveraged ERP consultants for benefits realization services and only 6% hired consultants to conduct a post-implementation audit. Since the achievement of business benefits is one of the main indicators of ERP success, it’s likely that many organizations are relatively unaware of whether their ERP project was a success or failure.
One reason that organizations may be reluctant to hire consultants is that they assume it is expensive. While ERP consultants can constitute a large investment, our 2013 ERP Report shows that this number is not quite as high as organizations expect. In fact, 34% of organizations spent between zero and 25% of their ERP budget on consultants and 29% spent between 26% and 50% of their budget on these services.
Hiring an independent ERP consultant is well worth the investment. In addition to benefits realization services, many organizations hire ERP consultants to provide guidance for software selection, implementation, training, organizational change management and business process management. While all of these aspects contribute to ERP success, organizations should leverage consultants throughout the entire ERP project in order to take full advantage of consultant guidance. Many organizations use consultants during the planning phase, selection phase, purchasing phase and implementation phase but only 2% used consulting services after implementation.
If your organization is struggling to understand the benefits that ERP systems are supposed to deliver and wondering how your ERP implementation can achieve those benefits, it may be time to hire an independent ERP consultant. To learn more, download our white paper, Guide to Choosing an ERP Implementation Partner and listen to our podcast, Working With ERP Consultants.