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Get out the stretcher an unwieldy software project has claimed another victim. Invacare Corp., a supplier of wheelchairs and other convalescent medical equipment, last week pointed to difficulties implementing an ordering-processing system from Oracle in explaining a $30 million downward tweak to its fourth-quarter revenue forecast.
What was the problem? The new system couldn't tell what was in inventory. (Details, details.) That led to order and invoicing backlogs and documentation errors in the first eight weeks of implementation, resulting in lost orders, according to Invacare chairman and CEO A. Malachi Mixon III. "The fourth-quarter impacts of the ERP are disappointing, but this is a one-time event," Mixon said in a written statement.
Oracle is working to help its customer get back on its feet. Invacare is "already experiencing system improvements," an Oracle spokesman says. It's unclear what went wrong, but ERP projects can be notoriously complicated. All the more reason to keep the gurney close.
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