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Given the high demands for our ERP software selection consulting services, we are often forced to pick and choose which clients we are going to work with. Although one of our goals is to focus on clients that are good cultural fits and good candidates for a long-term relationship, we also look at how well positioned the client is to make their ERP initiative successful.

ERP Project Success Factors

1. Do they have executive support and buy-in? As we’ve highlighted in our ERP research, the executive involvement is a key determinant of how successful an ERP initiative is going to be. If the ERP decision process has been entirely delegated to IT or to a low-level within the organization, this is not necessarily a good sign. Executives need to be involved in key decisions not just in the selection process, but throughout the implementation as well.

2. Do they have realistic expectations? Software sales reps are notorious for mismanaging client expectations about how much time and money is required to implement their software. As we’ve outlined in our ERP research and report, the average company invests 18 months and 9% of annual revenue in their ERP initiatives. Part of our job is to manage those expectations and add a dose of reality to the implementation planning process.

3. Do they know what they don’t know? Most clients come to us for help because they don’t have expertise choosing and implementing ERP software. However, some decide to develop their own internal evaluation process. While every client has different needs, it is important to leverage a methodology, tools, and approach that has been proven at dozens of other companies across the globe. It is also important to be open to external advice and take direction from people that have gone through the ERP process countless times.

While there are dozens of critical success factors that need to be accounted for during a successful ERP software initiative, these are three major ones that we look for as a client is beginning their software selection process. Without a strong handle on these three areas, a company may be setting themselves up for failure.

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