Tips on Choosing the Right Partner for Your ERP Implementation
When choosing an ERP software solution and service provider for your business, one size does not fit all. While the software must address and satisfy industry-specific needs for functionality, scalability, and complexity, the ERP service provider should have a proven track record helping companies like yours achieve the operational excellence required to realize optimal profitability and grow the business.
The right implementation partner is to bring the software to life. Here is brief outline of what to look for when selecting an ERP services provider:
1. First, select the software that best addresses your industry and company’s specific needs. A good start is to ensure that the provider can support all the capabilities that are unique to your industry, and serves as a robust development platform so that you can augment the capabilities with any unique needs you may have. It’s always good to look at the number and caliber of both solution partners and 3rd party ISV’s that are in the ERP platform provider’s ecosystem.
2. Define the selection criteria with system stakeholders: Is geographical proximity important? Do I need custom development capabilities? What kind of support turnaround times do I need? Does the service provider have any other capabilities I might need (staff augmentation, etc.)? What’s the financial viability of the service provider? Then determine if each of these criteria are “must have” or “nice to have”.
3. Shortlist the top services partners that have deep experience with your selected technology, then go through a discovery process to see how each of them measure up against your criteria. Start with the evaluation of no more than three providers. More can become unwieldy.
4. Be certain that the provider has the ability to support other systems you may have in place, as you likely have a CRM as well as Business Intelligence tools that will require some data integration. It’s also useful to ensure that the provider has a great track record with other ISV solutions that you may need, either now or in the future.
5. Check references, and evaluate them with a discerning eye. Think about both the similarities and the differences between your situation and that of the reference.
6. Most of all, be certain that you and your team can develop open and effective communication channels with the service provider. This relationship is likely to be a long one, and a major foundation for a successful project is effective communication.
If you execute against these recommendations, you are well on your way to selecting a great service provider to assist you in modernizing your ERP and business management systems.