Remember the 1958 horror flick The Blob? It came to Earth and devoured people, houses and towns by enveloping them in its inexorable mass. Was this a foreshadowing of enterprise resource planning?\n\nERP I: School of Hard KnocksGoing back to school in the fall can be a scary thing for any student\u2014especially college freshmen.\nThe last thing they need is some computer program to haunt their lives and make things even more uncertain.\nBut in 2004, more than 27,000 students at the University of Massachusetts, Stanford and Indiana University\nwere forced to do battle with buggy portals and ERP applications that left them at best unable to find their\nclasses and at worst unable to collect their financial aid checks."The freshmen were going crazy because they didn't know where to go." \u2014 Stefanie Fillers, former University of Massachusetts studentERP II: The Pain ContinuesPrivacy scandal or ERP nightmare: Which did more damage to Hewlett-Packard? The verdict's\nstill out. But HP's 2004 ERP implementation was Murphy's Law writ large\u2014everything that could\nhave gone wrong, did. The project eventually cost HP $160 million in order backlogs and lost\nrevenue\u2014more than five times the project's estimated cost."We had a series of small problems, none of which individually would have been too much to handle. But together they created the perfect storm."\n\n\u2014 Gilles Bouchard, then-CIO and executive vice president of global operations, Hewlett-PackardERP III: Exercise in AgonyA $400 million investment in upgrading your supply chain systems should buy you a lot.\nBack in 2000, what it bought Nike was $100 million in lost sales, a 20 percent stock dip\nand an assortment of class-action lawsuits. These came thanks to a fumbled attempt to\nintegrate ERP, supply chain planning and CRM into a single superstar system. The setback\nwas a big black eye for one of the United States' premier corporations that lives on as\na tale of woe and warning."For the people who follow this sort of thing, we became a poster child\n[for failed implementations]." \u2014 Roland Wolfram, Nike's vice president of global operations and technologyERP IV: Sweet MiserySpend a dollar to lose a dollar. What? That isn't the way information systems are supposed to work.\nBut that was the early outcome of Hershey's 1999 attempt to create a snazzy new order-taking and distribution system. Problem was, it didn't\ninitially work\u2014and it prevented Hershey from delivering $100 million in pre-Halloween toothrot.\nThe poor suckers also caught it in the kisser when investors bailed on the stock\u2014to the tune of\nan 8 percent drop\u2014on the day former CEO Kenneth Wolf announced the system problem."There is no doubt that 1999 was a difficult and disappointing year for Hershey Foods as sales\nand earnings fell significantly short of our, as well as the market's, expectations...this was largely\nthe result of customer service and order fulfillment problems stemming from the July 1999 start-up of\nthe final phase of new business systems and processes in these areas." \u2014 Kenneth L. Wolfe,\nformer chairman and chief executive officer, Hershey Foods, in a 1999 press releaseERP V: Sudden DeathThe ultimate cautionary tale for any IT manager about to pull the trigger on a new ERP\nimplementation? FoxMeyer Drug. Following an SAP R\/3 implementation in the mid- to late-1990s,\nthe company's bankruptcy trustees filed a $500 million lawsuit \nin 1998 against SAP, and another $500 million suit against co-implementer Andersen Consulting, \nclaiming the companies' software and installation efforts had contributed to the drug company's demise."On June 23, 2004, SAP reached a settlement agreement with FoxMeyer pursuant to which SAP was\nrequired to pay a specified amount to FoxMeyer and to which all outstanding disputes and litigation\nwere dismissed by order of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware dated\nAugust 30, 2004. SAP paid FoxMeyer the settlement amount on September 9, 2004." \u2014 Quote from \n2004 SAP annual report"What did we miss? Nominate your own Worst IT Disaster by sending it to Chris Lindquist at CIO.com."