December 10, 2018
Choosing the right ERP software is important, but deploying it the right way strongly depends on choosing the right ERP implementation partner. The role of a trusted implementation partner is to help you develop a deployment plan, manage the deployment project, and provide long-term support.
In this post, we’ll discuss several key aspects of how to evaluate potential ERP implementation partners.
Identify your business needs
In order to choose the right implementation partner, start evaluating your business needs by recognizing the cracks between your various business processes. Find out what works and doesn’t work within your existing IT infrastructure. After identifying your business requirements, look for ERP solution partners who have addressed similar business requirements and have provided support to other organizations in your industry.
Do your own research
Be sure to independently look into potential partners before selecting an ERP platform and partner. This will save you time and effort in the long run. Starting a project with an inferior solution or an inexperienced technology partner can lead to missed deadlines, unexpected expenses, or an ERP deployment that doesn’t meet all the business requirements it was intended to address. Once you have shortlisted a few potential companies, call them for further details about their solutions and methodologies.
Evaluate potential partners
Select your implementation partner based on how they create end-to-end business value. Consider your options based on value addition, strategic partnership, and pricing matrix. Choose a company that provides an extensive range of diagnostics, implementation, managed services, and support options. Find out about their products and services, how they implement solutions, and provide long-term support. Your ideal ERP partner will have successfully performed implementations for similar organizations in your industry.
Some evaluation criteria
A competent ERP partner will provide you with a thorough digital transformation assessment. The assessment should consider your organization’s specific business objectives, challenges and pain points, new capabilities that you would like to achieve, and various project risks and constraints that all stakeholders need to be aware of before implementation begins.
Your chosen ERP solution, partner, and internal team are all essential components of a successful implementation project. Gain a good feel for how well your potential partner’s team would interact with your own. Look for a group of professionals that seem to “click” synergistically with your team members – clear communication, easy collaboration, and a positive, goal-directed attitude.
Pay special attention to the potential partner’s operating procedures for communication. A good partner will have established mechanisms for frequent communication between their implementation team and your internal team, as well as their project managers and your own decision-makers for the project. If the need arises, they should also be able to facilitate communication between the two parties’ top management.
Beware of solution providers that always say “yes” to your requirements and wish lists. It’s one thing for an organization to have a positive, can-do attitude, and another for them to try to impress you by promising more than they can actually deliver. Furthermore, even if they can actually give you everything that you ask for, a good ERP implementation partner is more than a simple order-taker. They should provide guidance and assert their professional opinion.
For example, there may be cases where you want a particular feature that you’ve heard great things about, but it’s not relevant to your line of business and won’t provide significant ROI. It’s your implementation partner’s job to steer you away from such missteps. If they are more agreeable than they are practical, your ERP system will end up costing you more without offering any additional benefit.
Train and maintain
Technology partners need to provide extensive training on freshly implemented ERP systems to ensure rapid user adoption. Without proper training, most business users fail to leverage the vast majority of their ERP system’s productivity-enhancing capabilities. This severely limits the ROI that your ERP platform provides.
Just as importantly, your ideal ERP partner must provide an acceptable level of long-term operational support and maintenance services. Reliable partners offer service level agreements (SLAs) that define acceptable response times, solution uptime, maintenance schedules, and so on.
Organizations aiming to increase the value of their ERP system should team up with dependable implementation partners to minimize unforeseen challenges during or after platform rollout. The right implementation partner for you will have a detailed understanding of industry-specific requirements. Please contact Systems to learn how we can make your ERP implementation project a success.