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100% Money Back Guarantees

Blog by Doug Deane

100% Money Back Guarantees

Many VAR’s in the ERP (accounting) software and CRM (customer relationship management) space are offering 100% money back guarantees.  In addition, there are some consultants and organizations who purport to assist end-users in purchasing ERP and CRM software who recommend that an end-user insist on a 100% money back guarantee.  One such organization is www.docstoc.com who offers a template for an ERP Request for Proposal.

What could possibly be wrong with a 100% money back guarantee (MBG)?

Personally, I love MBG’s and I use them all the time.  That new blender doesn’t work?  Bring it back to Macy’s and they’ll give you a new one or refund your money.  I wish I could’ve returned that Mazda MPG I bought in 1990, for my money back.  Before I gave it to Father Joe, the aluminum engine had cracked in half, and the paint was peeling off in sheets.  Not a good look for a self-important software executive such as myself.

Have you ever returned something you bought, and although you got your money back, do you remember thinking that you spent twice as much as the product was worth when you counted the time installing it, finding out it didn’t work, taking it out, being yelled at by your spouse, and driving it back?  Turns out your 100% MBG was actually a 10% MBG, counting your time spent and the wear and tear on your marriage.

When it comes to an ERP or CRM implementation, that concept is on steroids.  Even when you get your money back for a failed implementation, it’s only a small portion of the resources you expended in trying to get a turkey to fly.  VAR’s of failed implementations count themselves lucky that their liability in such a situation is just the cost of the software and services they billed for.  If they were also on the hook for their customer’s lost time, lost productivity, lost business and lost morale, they would certainly have done a better job on the pre-sale needs assessment.

Am I cynical enough to believe that some ERP and CRM VAR’s hide behind their 100% MBG’s as a way of limiting their liability?  I’m not sure; get back to me on that.

Everybody wants a guarantee and the promise of no risk.  Customers want to be able to make an important decision and they’d like to believe that if it doesn’t work out as they were promised, they will be made whole again, and will be free to shop for something better.  Why do they believe that?  Because they got a 100% MBG.

Are you shopping for an ERP or CRM system?  Do you want a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee?  No problem, here’s ours:

  • DSD takes responsibility for being the expert.  We take responsibility for asking the right questions, and for exploring all of our customer’s relevant business needs.  Our customer will receive a written assessment of their needs and a proposal and/or Statement of Work.  If we fail to investigate relevant business needs, or fail to properly or completely execute the details contained in the proposal and/or Statement of Work, this will be corrected in a timely way at our own cost.
  • Our customer takes responsibility for any gaps in the new system’s capabilities that were the result of faulty, incorrect or inaccurate feedback from their staff, or from their withholding critical information from us.  Our customer also takes responsibility for reviewing the proposal and/or Statement of Work and confirming that it is an accurate depiction of its business processes and needs.  Glancing at it doesn’t count.
  • We take responsibility for the all the products we sell.  If some portion of the system does not function in the way that we described, due to bugs or flaws in the manufacturer’s software, due to poor documentation from the manufacturer, or due to our (unlikely) unfamiliarity with the product, we will take full responsibility for having this corrected in a timely way at our own cost.
  • Our customer must understand that there are bugs and flaws in any software, and that if they are of a non-critical nature, they will be fixed in a way that does not greatly affect their business operations or efficiency.
  • DSD takes responsibility for the quality of our training and implementation staff.  We expect and demand that our consulting staff will perform at the very highest levels of professionalism and technical knowledge.  We will not tolerate less from our consultants.
  • Our customer commits to making its staff available on a timely basis, as dictated by the needs of the implementation.  Our customer must commit that when its staff is being trained, they will not be distracted during training and that if training is done at our customer’s office, a high quality environment conducive to learning will be provided.  We are not responsible for discontinuities in the implementation process caused by changes in our customer’s staff, or by scheduling changes that our customer requests.
  • We will never expect to be paid for time spent that was ineffective.
  • Our customer commits to letting us know in a timely way if it was billed for time that it believes was ineffective, and why it is believed that the billing was not appropriate.  If we both agree that time should be written off, it will be done so immediately.

100% satisfaction guarantees are hard work for our customers and hard work for us.  If you want a magic bullet, you’ll have to go elsewhere.  Our most cherished company statement, our Statement of Values, says this, among many other things:

  • Always give customers more than they expect.
  • Never, ever give up or stop trying, especially when you’re problem solving.
  • Do what you say you’ll do, when you said you’d do it.

Do you want a 100% MBG for one of the most important business decisions that you’ll ever make?  If so, then we wish you the best of luck.  If, on the other hand, you want a business partner, someone who will work incredibly hard to understand your business needs, and someone who won’t walk away and hide behind a 100% MBG when there’s an unforeseen challenge, then DSD Business Systems is just who you are looking for.

 

Doug Deane is President of DSD Business Systems, a national provider of on-demand (cloud) and on-premises ERP and CRM software, specializing in wholesale distribution, manufacturing, warehouse management, inventory, business intelligence and eCommerce software.  DSD offers Sage 100 (formerly MAS 90), Sage 300 (formerly Accpac), Sage 500 (formerly MAS 500), NetSuite, Sage FAS, Sage HRMS (formerly Abra), Sage CRM, Sage SalesLogix, Extended Solutions, and Custom Programming.

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Software Programming
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Sage Software