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Why ERP Systems Fail

The business landscape is littered with failed attempts at installing ERP systems. Hershey Foods, for example, incurred significant product distribution problems after it implemented SAP’s R/3 system, resulting in its candy not being on retail shelves during its peak season between Halloween and Christmas. Whirlpool, a major appliance manufacturer. also attributed
shipping delays to its difficulties in implementing SAP’s R/3 system. (These difficulties in implementing ERP systems are not unique to SAP but exist with all ERP systems.) Some of the more common reasons for these difficulties and failures are presented here. It is interesting to note that many of these causes are the same as those that were identified as the reasons for MRP implementation failures 25 years ago.