Perhaps just as important as selecting the right ERP software for your company is selecting the right ERP implementation partner. It’s easy to go wrong when adding a new technology to your business (as the number of ERP implementation failures show) so it’s crucial to get this decision correct.
Here are 7 characteristics you should look for when choosing an ERP implementation partner:
1) They have a strong track record.
An important factor to consider when selecting a partner is whether the company you’re investigating has a strong track record or not. Check to see if the company has case studies of successful implementations. Ask them for referrals. Beyond that, see if you can speak to those referrals.
By speaking with businesses who have already worked with the partner in question, you can find unbiased information about the partner, and you can even get tips and inside advice on how to work with them. It’s important that the partner you choose to work with is reliable, and looking at their track record is one way to confirm that.
2) They understand your industry.
In addition to having a strong track record in general, your ERP implementation partner should have a strong track record within your industry. Different industries have different requirements, and the more your partner knows about your business vertical, the more they’ll be able to adapt the software to your particular needs. This is important because companies implementing an ERP system will have to make some number of changes to their business to accommodate the new software. The more the software fits the procedures you already have, the less you’ll have to change your business, and therefore, the less costly and time-consuming that will be.
In addition to that, an implementation partner with knowledge of your industry will also be able to recommend the particular features of the ERP software that will assist you the most. They will teach you how to use the product in the most optimal way. They’ll also be up to date on any changes that occur in industry standards, and be able to modify the software to match that.
3) They have the necessary resources.
Another reason to check track record is to see if your ERP implementation partner has previous experience dealing with companies of your size and scope. Do they have the necessary resources to handle an implementation of your size? If you’re a global company, have they handled global ERP implementations before? All of this is important to know.
4) They have exceptional communication.
Good communication is crucial to any ERP implementation, because they are complicated procedures that can take months and months, and sometimes years. During this lengthy period, having someone you communicate well with is absolutely essential.
Are they located nearby? Can you have face-to-face chats to clear up any confusion?
Do they respond in a timely manner to your concerns?
Do they listen to your concerns and provide you with solutions that meet those demands and not other ones?
This factor is key for a successful ERP implementation.
5) They have a good relationship with the ERP developers.
Assuming the implementation partner is not the ERP software developer themselves, it’s essential that they have a good relationship with them. Your implementation partner is basically an intermediary between you and the software company. If there are any issues or you need to make changes to the software, good communication has to exist in this space as well.
One way to check this is to see if the company has earned any awards from the developers. For example, Odoo certifies partners as Gold or Silver based on various requirements. On a yearly basis, it also chooses the implementation partner it thought was the best. These sorts of awards signal a successful track record and close collaboration between the implementers and the developers.
6) They use an agile methodology for software development.
A normal occurrence in ERP implementations is for new information to come to light throughout the implementation process. You may have certain ideas beforehand and change them over time. It’s important that the ERP partner is able to modify the software/implementation process in response to these new demands and be flexible based on changing circumstances.
7) Understand your own requirements.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, make sure you understand your own requirements. While this has less directly to do with the characteristics of the ERP implementation partner, it does in a more indirect sense: if you know what you’re looking for, you will most effectively be able to find the right person for the job.
Here are some questions you should think about: What techno-functional needs are you trying to accomplish with the ERP implementation? What machines, software, and other systems are you currently using that will either a) need to be integrated into the new ERP, or b) be replaced by the ERP? What should the UX (user experience) interface look like to fit your company culture?
As said before, the answers to these questions may change as time goes on, but it’s vital for you to understand your own requirements, so you can communicate it to the implementation partner and receive a solution that actually fits those needs.
Bista Solutions has successfully implemented ERP solutions for companies across many industries. If you’re looking for an implementation partner for ERP or for other business technologies, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.