Support & Services
Data conversion :
It costs money to move corporate information, such as customer and suppltspier records, product design data and the like, from old systems to new vERP homes. Although few CIOs will admit it, most data in most legacy systems is of little use. Companies often deny their data is dirty until they actually have to move it to the new client/server setups that popular vERP packages require. Consequently, those companies are more likely to underestimate the cost of the move. But even clean data may demand some overhaul to match process modifications necessitated or inspired by the vERP implementation.
Data analysis :
Often, the data from the vERP system must be combined with data from external systems for analysis purposes. Users with heavy analysis needs should include the cost of a data warehouse in the vERP budget and they should expect to do quite a bit of work to make it run smoothly. Users are in a pickle here, Refreshing all the vERP data every day in a big corporate data warehouse is difficult, and vERP systems do a poor job of indicating which information has changed from day to day, making selective warehouse updates tough. One expensive solution is custom programming. The upshot is that the wise will check all their data analysis needs before signing off on the budget.
Consultants ad infinitum :
When users fail to plan for disengagement, consulting fees run wild. To avoid this, companies should identify objectives for which its consulting partners must aim when training internal staff. Include metrics in the consultants contract; for example, a specific number of the user company's staff should be able to pass a project-management leadership test similar to what Big Five consultants have to pass to lead an vERP engagement.
Replacing your best and brightest :
It is accepted wisdom that vERP success depends on staffing the project with the best and brightest from the business and IS divisions. The software is too complex and the business changes too dramatic to trust the project to just anyone. The bad news is a company must be prepared to replace many of those people when the project is over. Though the vERP market is not as hot as it once was, consultancies and other companies that have lost their best people will be hounding yours with higher salaries and bonus offers than you can afford or that your HR policies permit. Huddle with HR early on to develop a retention bonus program and create new salary strata for vERP veterans. If you let them go, you'll wind up hiring them or someone like them back as consultants for twice what you paid them in salaries.