Skip to main content

Dynamics and more Blog

How do you help your customers prepare for ERP project success?

Organizations around the world make misjudgments, unfortunate choices, and sometimes even stupid mistakes when selecting, contracting, and implementing ERP software systems.

Every single day.

Over and over again….

Unfortunately, the choice of an appropriate solution and the right implementation partner is anything but easy! Executives are asked to make significant investments with the knowledge that these projects carry a high risk of failure. Choices, once made, cannot be easily changed due to the large financial and organizational impact.

For this reason, these projects must go well the first time!

But according to Gartner, still 55 to 75 percent of all ERP projects either fail or don't meet their intended objectives.

Customers are inexperienced

Fact is that most organisations are pretty inexperienced when it comes to selecting, contracting, and implementing ERP systems. After all, most of them only do this every 8 to 10 years. And most professionals carry this responsibility only 1 or 2 times in their career. It is therefore quite logical that they run the risk of overlooking important matters. And underestimating certain topics.

Most Dynamics 365 partners acknowledge privately that the majority of their current and future customers have no idea of the qualitative and quantitative damage that occurs if their implementation unexpectedly fails.

Nevertheless, D365 partners start new projects with these kind of customers every day. After all, there are revenue targets that must be met, right?

The result of poor preparation

If your customers are poorly prepared for their ERP projects, this usually leads to (big) problems!

Common problems on the customer side are:

  • exceeding budgets for quality, time and money
  • migrating old processes, habits, and mindsets
  • failing to achieve the desired project goals
  • or even worse: never putting the new system into use
  • and as a result: not realizing their potential

And when your clients experience these outcomes, some of the problems you as a D365 partner can expect include: 

  • customers who do not change or cooperate sufficiently
  • unpaid bills, credit invoices and unpaid work
  • frustrated employees and loss of scarce capacity
  • complaints that escalate to legal cases
  • and finally: churn and loss of customers

How to prepare your customers?

As we have reviewed, there are more than enough reasons why you as a partner should want to help your customer prepare correctly for their ERP project. From my various polls on LinkedIn among D365 partners, I conclude that good preparation is considered a shared responsibility.

Question is how to best do that? How do you make your customer realize that they need to prepare (better)? What skills and experience are needed to challenge them? And can you do that yourself in a credible manner since you are also the Microsoft partner and a stakeholder?

The reality is that your customers need a dose of the same truth that partners already admit to, if only in private. When an organization is selecting an ERP for the future, managers and executives need to prepare themselves for the true impact it will have on their organization. While they may have an understanding of digital transformation and organizational change management at a broad level, an ERP project presents unique challenges that they must prepare for. In my consultation and ERP Masterclass workshops with these organizations, I have found that business leaders especially appreciate guidance on:

  • How can we use Digital Transformation to modernise our business model?
  • How can IT help us adding more value to our customers’ customers?
  • Why is Digital Transformation a ‘Boss thing‘ and cannot be delegated?
  • Why should we link the project goals to the organizations’ strategy?
  • Why should we avoid customizations and stick to the standard?
  • How do we demolish internal silos to achieve better internal and external collaboration?
  • How to prepare the organisation for massive change?
  • How can we leaders be an inspiring example of the desired change?

How I can help

As a seasoned ERP veteran in the international Dynamics 365 channel, I have recently decided to offer you a solution in helping your prospects and customers prepare for project success. I do this by delivering the so called ERP Masterclasses. These are interactive 1-day workshops for managers and C-level professionals. In two different flavors: one for ERP selection and one for ERP transformation.

In the past 20 years I have been delivering these Masterclasses to many hundreds of customers and implementation partners all across Europe. During the last 10 years with a particular attention to digital transformation and change management. With impressively high satisfaction scores. But so far always via Microsoft and D365 partners.

I now offer these masterclasses directly to end users for the first time. Check here for the agenda’s and other details:

What’s your next step?

So what does this all mean to you and your partner organisation? Would you like to let chance determine whether your next project will be a success? Prospect education is critical to achieving long-term project success, and you have a part to play in encouraging them to become informed and enthusiastic participants in their own technology investment. As a technology partner, urge your clients and prospects, especially those with imminent ERP project plans, to invest in preparing for the unique challenges and opportunities that await them.


Guus Krabbenborg


15 February 2024

Feel free to share