Survey Says: 5 Questions About ERP Implementations

Many of the companies we speak with have questions about ERP implementations.

In “The Real Facts about ERP Implementations, the research firm Mint Jutras surveyed hundreds of North American manufacturing and distribution companies to explore the myth of past ERP implementation success rate data which told a dismal story.

The in-depth report resulting from the survey is titled “The Real Facts about ERP Implementation: Busting the Myth of Failure, But Are You Overrating Your Success?”

ERP Implementation Survey Findings

As an independent ERP consulting firm, ERP implementation success is a topic that comes up often as project teams look to Ultra to understand the best way to work through enterprise system projects.

Highlighted here are key questions about ERP implementations.

1: What are the most surprising findings from the survey in regard to success/failure rates for manufacturers, distributors?

Enterprise software implementation is certainly not for the faint of heart.

A stand-out finding was that today, neither is it the scary ordeal that many describe it as, nor is it doomed to fail.

While disasters provide good fodder for sensationalized headlines, failure rates are generally overstated. The recent Mint Jutras study of ERP implementation success by manufacturers and distributors found 67% rate their implementations as successful or very successful. While 31% only achieved partial success, a scant 2% said they were “not very successful” and only one out of the 315 surveyed described their implementation as a failure. So basically, the myth of high failure rates is just that – a myth.

2: What did the survey find as key success factors for the successful implementations?

The one factor that most often contributed to success was top management support and commitment. This is really no surprise. Consultants and experts have been preaching this for decades. And we’re not talking about just signing the initial check, but continued support throughout the process.

This and other factors like good organizational change management, thorough assessment, good testing and open and transparent communication all speak to one observation. It has more to do with organizational issues – people and process – than with the software itself.

3: What are the key factors that contributed to projects that failed to meet expectations?

Lack of success is really just the inverse of these factors – inadequate business process re-engineering, inadequate testing, and training.

Or an overall lack of readiness assessment. Of course, users’ resistance to change is also a factor.

4: Why is the timing of this report important?

We live in disruptive times. Change has always been a constant, but the pace of change has been accelerating now for decades. And yet many are still struggling with old rigid solutions that are hard to use and hard to change.

They continue under the assumption, if it’s not broken don’t fix it. The right technology-enabled solutions can help propel growth and superior performance in today’s global, digital economy. Those built on outdated technology can stifle both.

5: What did the survey reveal about the importance of setting goals during an ERP project?

While the survey showed many respondents are meeting expectations in terms of schedule, budget and return on investment (ROI), we need to step back and question whether these expectations are set high enough.

Based on benefits actually realized, the researchers feel many are over-rating their success and leaving additional attainable returns on the table.

An ERP implementation should never be viewed as done and the ROI should be sustainable.

Have Questions About ERP Implementations? Get the Full Story

Ultra guides teams in their enterprise software selection project, and it’s key to keep these ERP implementation surveys in mind.

To drive business process improvement,  the right technology-enabled applications can help propel growth and superior performance, while those built on outdated technology can stifle it.

Software selection and implementation processes often present challenges of their own. To steer you around trouble and help you drive success, Ultra’s experts compiled a list of pain points and solutions to be aware of as you embark on this journey.

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