...and how to get it right
It’s human nature to seek comfort in working with familiar names. That also goes for choosing a big player to implement your Enterprise Resource Planning system. You think you know what you’re getting.
Generic ERP engineers are plentiful, but the truth is, there are few best-in-class engineers specific to waste and recycling management. Just because it’s a big player doesn’t guarantee you the industry-expertise you need.
There are enough horror stories out there to know that something is not right. That ‘something’ is usually discovered during implementation. Estimates are approved, and work begins. When the big player’s lack of understanding the industry becomes apparent, additional work has to be done, and you have to approve more costs.
More hurdles appear, along with more invoices. At what point do you pull the plug? You’ve already invested more than you originally anticipated, but your reputation is on the line. So, you keep going. In the end, it’s not unheard of to pay three times the original estimate, and still not get the promised solution, and certainly not in the timeframe you were originally promised. Don’t even try to think about integrating industry-specific software or technology into the picture, e.g. route optimisation, and the problems get even more expensive and time consuming.
To avoid crafting your own horror story, choose your ERP supplier wisely. Here’s how to do that.
Lesson one: ask pointed questions
Beware of behemoths. If you let yourself be dazzled by big names with an army of software developers and strategy consultants, you can easily miss what’s at stake here.
What should matter are the exact details of what they do – and we do mean exact details, not assurances or claims. Otherwise, you could be in for a very long, very painful and very expensive mistake.
Ask pointed questions. When talking to any software company, focus on the operational side of what your ERP system must do. Your aim is to determine whether or not a software company understands the waste management industry and how their solution will address what you need it to.
Don’t trust demos
What do they understand about the industry?
Do they understand industry complex pricing?
How do they keep up to date with legislation?
How easy is it to integrate solutions into their ERP software?
Fear: smaller vendors can’t handle big demands
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