Admittedly, if ever there was a topic in which we professed bias, it would be that of selecting a provider for your ERP system implementation. But that doesn’t make the topic any less ripe for discussion. In fact, that’s just what Aberdeen Research did recently, and we thought we’d reprise a few of their key findings.
Right off the bat, it’s worth noting that Aberdeen’s clients range from SMBs (small to midsize businesses) all the way up to large scale enterprises well beyond the reach of our own SMB market space. Even so, it turns out that about 80% of all their survey respondents utilized some sort of third party implementation assistance; the remaining 20% were large enough, or selected products in which they could go direct with, the vendor.
Over 60% of companies in the under $50 million revenue range utilized a services firm. (We suspect the number for smaller-revenue companies was significantly greater still.) Aberdeen surmises that the rest of the companies “do not understand how to, or have the internal resources available to, truly commit to making an ERP implementation successful.”
So what services do the implementers provide, according to Aberdeen? The ‘Best-in-Class’ organizations cited the following services:
- 53% used third party consultants for training
- 36% used them for analysis of business processes
- 31% used them for system implemenation services
- 31% used them for system selection
- 28% used them for maintenance
Interestingly, but logically enough when you think about it, firms not deemed ‘Best-in-Class’ (who often lack the internal expertise) saw the percentages cited above go higher. These were likely to be smaller companies, or firms less experienced with the intricacies and process analysis necessary to a successful ERP implementation.
Ultimately the majority of firms confirmed Aberdeen’s assertion that “these firms can help organizations transform themselves by providing expertise on how to reexamine the business and execute a successful ERP strategy.”
As Aberdeen concludes… “ERP is a significant investment but employing a third party services firm can help increase the likelihood that that investment is successful. If the organization does not have the resources or the knowledge to execute an ERP strategy, this may be enough to justify the cost.”