Three ERP implementation myths your workforce may believe

There is a lot of negativity around major software changes.  How can your ERP team combat this?

1. ERP implementation is expensive, time-consuming and difficult

Admittedly, this can be true. There are stories freely available of such and such business or government unit that took years and millions of dollars to implement some ERP system and it still doesn’t work as they expected. Often these stories are linked to a major lawsuit against the ERP seller and developers.

What is almost unheard of is another business that implemented SAP or another leading ERP system in weeks.These stories are more normal but less newsworthy. How is it done? First class project management is the key. Exactly the steps needed were laid out and completed on a schedule. Nothing not needed was touched. People working on the project had backup completing their day jobs.  

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Maybe most important to many of the projects is avoidance of any customization. They chose to get the implementation completed of the basic ERP and defer any customization or integration until the ERP was successfully completed as its own project.

2. ERP will eliminate spreadsheets

Spreadsheets are a powerful tool and most of us are comfortable working with them. Beginning with VisiCalc back in the 1980s we saw the value in electronic spreadsheets and it was easy to convert from the 18 column paper tools we once used.

Today’s ERP systems have great business intelligence tools built right in. But we can be sure that the spreadsheet will continue to rule when we are developing that business intelligence. However, we ought to see less reliance on spreadsheets to schedule production and similar tasks. ERP is pretty good at this kind of work.

3. Cloud ERP is cheap

We can now use our software tools in the cloud and only pay a small monthly fee. No longer is there a need to purchase expensive ERP software and pay a lot of money forever just to maintain that original cost.

Keep in mind though that ERP is a set of very powerful tools we rely on to keep our enterprises running well.  The monthly fee won’t be $10 and easily can reach to several thousands of dollars. And that monthly rate goes on forever. Sometimes, companies use their ERP system for decades and the cost to own that system often is more in the cloud after only a few years.

There is a less obvious cost related to cloud ERP systems. Customization and integrations often are much more difficult and might not even be possible as we imagine the results. Your ERP provider enables your use of the system along with many other businesses in the same cloud. Their obligation to ensure availability of the system to all their customers can require they severely restrict any one customer connecting their software to that common cloud ERP.

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Tom Miller

About the author…

Tom completed implementations of Epicor, SAP, QAD, and Micro MRP. He works as a logistics and supply chain manager and he always looks for processes to improve. He lives near San Francisco Bay in California and can be found on the water in his kayak or on the road riding his motorcycle. Contact Tom at

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Tom Miller

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