Legal Truth and Consequences for a Failed ERP Implementation

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This case is inspired by a complaint and response filed in the U.S. court system. One of the case’s authors served as an expert witness in the case. Because the suit settled before going to trial, some of the details of the case are not part of the public record; therefore, the names of the companies involved have been changed and certain details disguised to protect the identity of the litigants. However, the essentials of the case remain faithful to the actual circumstances and provide a basis for analysis of decision points and a discussion of costs and responsibilities for the issues in the case. A leading manufacturer of building materials in the United States selected an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to install on its existing hardware infrastructure. This case describes the ERP selection, implementation and migration challenges, impaired functionality, and the business and legal issues that ensued due to the software’s incompatibility with the hardware. With the software not performing as expected, the vendor withdrawing its software support, and costs escalating, the manufacturer sought legal counsel.

With Walter W. Austin and Linda L. Brennan

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