Why ERP and CRM Projects Fail to Meet Expectations

Companies invest in ERP and CRM projects to improve their business processes and performance. With so much time, effort and money put into these projects, why don’t they succeed 100% of the time?

  • Is it the consultant / implementation partner chosen?
  • Is it lack of preparation by the company?
  • Is it because companies pick the wrong ERP or CRM system?

While all of those factors may be contributors, the truth is that most ERP and CRM projects don’t really “fail” – they only fail in terms of meeting expectations.

That’s an important distinction!

Whatever system you choose, it’s likely that you and your team will be successful at getting the software implemented. The challenge is “meeting expectations.”

Why do ERP and CRM projects fail to meet expectations?

In most cases, ERP and CRM projects start at the wrong starting point.  In theory, you’re buying new business management software to solve a set of problems, but that’s the wrong way to think about it.  That mindset immediately puts you in “reactionary mode,” when you should be proactively working to turn your vision into reality.

Instead of looking for slight improvements to your business processes, and reacting to the shortcomings of your existing systems, start by asking, “What’s possible?”

What’s possible?

What are you really trying to achieve? Before engaging in a software selection process, get crystal clear about your 5-year business goals. Quantify a few select goals around how you plan to:

  • Be a market disruptor
  • Improve customer loyalty
  • Gain market share
  • Improve worker productivity

Work backwards from those goals to build your strategy, and detail the tactics you’ll use. Only then is the right time to consider software. Your software implementation partner should understand the strategic initiative, not just the features and functions you think you’ll need. Often, your implementation partner can provide valuable insight into various options to meet your goals.

When you define your business goals before selecting software, you improve your chances for a successful ERP or CRM project that actually meets your expectations!

Author: Steve Hamilton, VP- Service Delivery

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