Why shouldn’t you approach an ERP modernization as a DIY project?

If you have ever taken on a do-it-yourself (DIY) project for your home, you’ll probably discover quickly that it has some surprising parallels to an ERP modernization. 

Let’s look first at the DIY home improvement project. It can lead to a great sense of personal satisfaction. Who doesn’t like ticking off all of the following boxes at once: solving a problem, meeting a need, saving some money (versus hiring the job out), and then enjoying your results. But, handling a paint roller versus understanding which walls are load-bearing requires a very different skill set.

If you’ve ever attempted the more substantial home improvement projects, say changing out the flooring in your kitchen, I suspect you can relate to the experience of facing additional, unexpected challenges as you get deeper and deeper into a large-scale home project. In those cases, the “weekend project” is suddenly disrupting the entire household and has turned into an endless discovery of “and now we have to…” To keep with our flooring replacement example, imagine finding water damage on the subfloor, which means you have to find the source of your water leak, then replace the broken pipe that’s causing the leak, and lastly replace the damaged subfloor- all before you can actually get to changing out the kitchen flooring. Had you hired a flooring professional, they would have come prepared to discover any underlying issues based on their experience and expertise. Furthermore, they’d be able to help develop a quick and efficient plan to fix those additional issues and get your project, and your kitchen, back on track.

Now let’s take it a step further and imagine you’re going to do a full home renovation- not just a kitchen floor replacement.

Just like the kitchen floor project, you’re going to do the full home renovation job on your own too. You think this time it’ll probably be different because you have all of that experience from the kitchen floor project under your belt. Even though you work a full-time job, you’ll be able to devote your nights and weekends to the project, and you’re sure your friends and family will be able to do the same for the next few months whenever you need their expertise. Shoot, you’ll make it a family affair and teach the kids a thing or two while you’re at it. It’ll be a great learning experience for everyone.

It doesn’t take an HGTV addict to recognize a bad idea like this when they see it. I mean, you didn’t even know how to replace a broken pipe during the kitchen floor fiasco…

Now, back to that parallel I mentioned. Let’s apply this do-it-yourself attitude to the ERP modernization you’re about to undertake. You may know a little bit about it or even been through a few of these throughout the course of your career, but odds are, you’re not an expert. And even if you are an expert, how long has it been since you went through this process? In addition, you already have a full-time job keeping your company afloat. Who is going to take care of your current responsibilities while you DIY your ERP? Whoever you task with that already has their own full-time job. Do you really want to pay them overtime to do yours? I’ll go ahead and answer that for you- NO. Because if you do choose to go down the DIY path, it’s going to take longer, cost more, and could very well turn into a disaster relief situation.

People hate living through renovations, whether it is personal or professional. The demolition. The mess. The lack of order. Everything becomes stressed and inefficient, and everyone eventually gets grumpy.

Don’t do that to your workforce. And don’t do it to yourself.

Hire an expert. One you can trust. You’ll be glad you didn’t DIY.