When evaluating new ERP, the partner is as important as the software!!!
Embarking on an ERP evaluation includes embarking on a partner selection as well. The process of evaluating an ERP can seem overwhelming and confusing.
Where do you start? What do you look for?
ERP buyers typically know the “usual suspects” and know what, they need to evaluate in terms of functionality. Buyers may also speak to their colleagues and competitors, attend industry events and typically have a short list from the start. If they hire a consultant to write an RFI, the same “usual suspects” software is typically requested to submit a proposal.
The partner comes in during the software evaluation whose mission is to conduct discovery to ensure that the software is a fit for your business requirements. Prospective ERP buyers will dive into demonstrations, conversations, speak to companies that use the software in their vertical space. The PARTNER is a key element of your decision
Bottom line, most companies evaluating an ERP solution are really looking for a partner to provide value by overcoming hurdles in your business that inhibit you from growing.
A software decision includes:
- ERP solution you license
- ERP partner that provides the consulting services
ERP solutions have been around for over 50 years yet the Wall Street Journal states that 73.8% of companies are unhappy with their ERP system. The reasons they stated pointed back to the ERP partner and not the ERP software. Companies believe:
- The software implementation went significantly over budget
- The implementation took much longer than originally planned for
- The company didn’t feel they’ve achieved the benefits originally promised during the sales cycle
It is important when selecting an ERP partner that you select a company you trust. Meet the team that will provide your training and consulting, the sales team will be great but see who their supporting cast who will be in the trenches with you for the long term are. Having these elements will go a long way in your relationship together. Remember to keep thinking long term after this initial project is done.
Industry Expertise – ERP Solutions are out of the box and are the same when shipped to each client. Where your true “value add” comes from is how the system is configured to meet your specific business requirements. Request references in your industry and talk with each of them to ensure the partner understands your unique industry specific requirements.
Knowledge – Make sure the ERP partner can execute on the entire ERP system you require to utilize. Your company needs more than just accounting and more than just distribution or manufacturing. The partner should have more than a few certified resources in the product.
Methodology – Make sure your ERP partner has a proven methodology broken out into steps that successfully lead you through the process to get the business results you project plan.
Certified – Most software companies publish specific exams that must be achieved to resell and implement their solutions. Verify your ERP partner is certified by the software company to sell and implement the application.
As you can see, selecting the right ERP solution is only a small part of the equation. It’s also about selecting the best implementation partner to make that ERP software package the right fit for your business.
Please let me know if you would like more information re: our ERP solutions or services.
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Central Data Systems