When the dust clears, it becomes apparent that there are two categories of service providers in the world: those who make the messes, and those who clean the messes up.
It’s a frustrating situation for those of us in the latter camp, though we really shouldn’t complain. After all, the preponderance of shoddy ERP implementations being performed out there provides us with a solid, serious income stream via our efforts to put these waylaid victims back on track. This week alone, we signed up two new clients from this provenance, and I am expecting a few more in the coming weeks.
Still. Come on, guys. The rate at which our competitors are installing ERP systems, badly, is truly shocking. The sheer number of sloppy ERP system implementations out there is extraordinary, and I’m ashamed to concede that, given this picture, I can understand why the end-customer is so cautious about engaging with value added resellers.
There are all kinds of reasons an implementation goes bad. Sometimes, the issue even lays with the client and its inattentive management, post installation, or its unreasonable expectations (though my team knows I will not tolerate hearing “It’s the client’s fault”—I always prompt: “Remember who’s paying the bills!”).
But experience has taught me that the issue usually boils down to one of communication.
There are three key areas in an implementation in which risk looms particularly high: integrations, customizations and custom report writing. When I’m called in for clean-up duty, it’s almost always to address one from this troubling triumvirate. And if the work then isn’t managed correctly going forward, you will see what it is to have a good implementation go quickly sideways.
It’s largely thanks to this sorry state that I created the 360 Implementation Centre. With this dedicated space inside of our spanking new offices, the client can come to us and benefit from a controlled environment that blessedly removes them from the day-to-day distractions of their own business dealings.
With no meetings to attend to, no last-minute conference calls to pick up, no interruptions to put out a thousand of life’s daily fires, the work at hand gets addressed efficiently and effectively. Such singular focus allows us the liberty to deliver a rapid implementation that typically occupies about half the implementation time and cost of the industry standard.
Clients love our implementation centre, and they regularly rave about how good it is to get out of the office and address this critical piece with such single-mindedness. Oh, and we feed them damn good food while we’re at it.
The number of clients on the 360 roster that are transplants from other VARs — desperate souls we’ve been retained to rescue from nightmarish ERP implementation scenes — makes up an alarmingly high percentage of our total customer base.
Again, don’t get me wrong. We are happy to be the heroes here, and certainly aren’t squeamish about attaching a premium price tag to the effort. I’m just saying…