Unlike most of our competitors, Cincom doesn’t use third-party service providers to implement Control ERP. Mark Butler, Manager of Cincom’s Control Services says, “We do it in-house because we know our product and we know our customers want to get up and running. We’re not there to make a very long implementation. We’re a software firm. We want you up and running our software and the fastest way to do that is to help you do it ourselves.”
According to Mark, the steps “identify very specifically what we’re going to take the client through when we implement our product.” The first step, In, consists of getting the product up and functioning. Mark says this usually happens within the first few days of implementation.
Up, the second step, entails getting the system up and running to where the customer is using it in production. Mark says that the base plan is four months, but can be altered based upon the specifics of the client.
The last step, Evolve, is what takes place once you get the system up and running and you start seeing return on the initial investment. You start to evolve after that.
Mark compares the three- step implementation process to buying a new car. “When you buy a new car, you don’t use all the features the first day. You learn how to use them,” he says. The goal is to get your initial return on investment as quickly as possible. “That’s what the benefit is. We have a lot of features in our product and if they sit and try to implement them all at once it takes a very long time. We try to do it in a very short time frame and get you running on the product so you can evolve in different areas.”
A study conducted by Panorama Consulting Group, an independent ERP consulting firm in Denver, Colorado, found that 93% of ERP implementations take longer than expected. Further, two out of three (59%) implementations cost more than initially assumed. Only 13% of the respondents surveyed characterized themselves as very satisfied with their company’s software implementation. This study shows that ERP implementations in general have a bad reputation for failure.
According to Mark, this is because most of the time companies try to move the “evolve” step into the “up” step. “They try to use all the features of the system and implement them all at once and in the meantime they lose focus that they need to keep their business running. While they’re doing that, they’re diverting people from doing their business. Most ERP implementations range from a 6-18 month project. A business can completely transform in that time.” Mark says that by implementing their own product, Cincom shortens the window of opportunity for the business to change, making their implementations more successful.