A substantial part of all customisations concerning ERP/CRM systems is not used anymore recently after the system has been implemented. Instead of developing customisations for indispensable yet absent functionality, customisations are too often employed as a kind of lubricant to smoothen the transition from the old to the new situation. This phenomenon is very costly for your organisation and puts pressure on the Return of Investment of your project right from the start. Time to reconsider your principles?
By nature, human beings are not fond of change. This partly explains, for example, the effort it takes to carry out mergers and reorganisations. A new software system, too, evokes resistance. You are of course familiar with people saying things like: “Yes, but in our current system…”, “What we are used to right now is…” and “This is how we’ve always done it.”
Sometimes end-users are crystal clear: they indicate not to accept the new system. More often, however, the resistance is more subtle. But with costly and long lasting consequences. It is then up to the management to take an active stance, which unfortunately is not always adequately adopted. In the end, customisations are often (mis-)used to try to accommodate the users. By making the new system look like the old one as much as possible. As if the users back then didn’t have to get used to that system! By way of comparison: an expensive new car is bought, but the engine of the old vehicle is inserted. Which will still not allow the new purchase to exceed 70 kilometres an hour.
After the end-users have got used to operate the new system, the customisations soon becomes obsolete. Often, however, maintenance money is still transferred obediently for ages. And if the topic of migration to a new version comes up, all these customisations prove to be the cause of many problems. Not very convenient! And a direct hurdle to project success.
The challenge is to involve your complete team in an early stage. To inform them on ‘the why’ behind this new solution. To inspire them to be open for change. And to seduce them to think about modernising and improving business processes for themselves.
In short, customisations with regard to ERP/CRM systems can be divided in two groups. Previously absent functions that are of vital importance to an organization and therefore most certainly will be worth the investment. And functions that are only intended to ease the transfer.
If you keep a close eye on the latter category, this will become the first victory of your new system!