What ERP Implementation Has In Common With My Hair Color

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You might wonder what in the world an ERP software implementation has to do with my hair color. Obviously I have been in this industry for a long time because I can find a way to relate everything back to ERP software. So during this short vacation week we’ll have some fun with a serious topic.

The Challenge

I decided that my hair color was requiring too much expensive maintenance and I wanted something easier to maintain on my own. Sound familiar? Perhaps your old proprietary ERP system is working okay, but it is difficult and expensive to support.

The Solution:

My solution was to dye my hair back to my natural brown. Your solution is to choose an industry standard, out of the box accounting software system like Microsoft Dynamics GP.

This is where the right decisions need to be made to avoid disaster….

1. Don’t try to do it yourself.

Yes, I decided to dye my hair myself.  After all, how hard can it be, people do it all the time. Wrong. It was a complete disaster (blond + brown = green) and I had to go and pay even more money to try to get someone to fix it. And even after they tried to fix it, it didn't turn out as well as it would have if I had just had a professional do it in the beginning.

The same is true with ERP software. You can try to do it yourself, but likely it is not going to end up coming out right and it will cost you even more money to fix. Because now they have to investigate to even find the issue and try to repair it, instead of just doing a clean installation. And your issue might not even be as visible as mine was right away, so you could have things set up incorrectly that don't show up until a critical time....like year end.

Take a look at this post we wrote on the topic.  Can You Install Dynamics GP on Your Own and Should You?

 2. Ask for advice from people who have done it before.

After looking in the mirror I then went online to see how to fix it. Of course, there were plenty of online forums with advice from people who had done the same thing before and could have told me what NOT to do in the first place. That would have been helpful in advance but their advice on how to fix it was so conflicting I ended up going to a professional instead of taking the risk of making it worse.

So if you do decide to work with Dynamics GP on your own, make sure you do your research in advance and get advice from people with experience. A great place to do this is the GPUG Collaborate forum.

 3. Be willing to pay more to get it done right.

 I used to go to a very high end expensive salon.  They always did my hair color perfectly, I never complained, except when I got the bill.  I have gone to other salons that charge less but the results are never as good.  I think it is because the colorist at the high end salon focuses 100% percent of her time on color, nothing else. And her high end clients have high expectations. So she is constantly being sent for training to keep her skills fresh.

The same is true with ERP software partners. If you find a good partner, even if their quote is more than others, it is worth it. I once spoke with a local Dynamics CRM partner whose hourly rates were much higher than the competitors. When I asked him about it he said, “That’s true, but we get the work done in half the time.” And he was right.

I suggest you look for a Dynamics GP partner:

  • That has a team focused exclusively on your product.
  • That has a lot of clients with high expectations.
  • That sends their team for ongoing training.

The Conclusion

My hair now looks nothing like the beautiful blonde in my profile picture. And I wish that I had followed my own advice above. I know that there are plenty of companies that have implemented ERP software that would tell you the same thing.

My failed hair color is not a serious issue to anyone except me (and perhaps my husband who has to listen to me complain).

But if you have a failed ERP software implementation that can dramatically impact your business. I spoke with a staffing company yesterday who told me that when they went live on new software they missed payroll for the first time in 30 years and “it was a dark day in company history”.

I told him I could feel his pain.....and then gently adjusted my hat.


If you are looking for a Microsoft Dynamics GP partner you can trust with your software project, contact CAL Business Solutions. [email protected] 860-485-0910 x4.

By Anya Ciecierski, Cal Business Solutions, Connecticut Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner, www.calszone.com

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