Don’t Skip this Critical Step in Your ERP Implementation
Updated: 6 days ago
The partner you align with can make or break your ERP implementation. Here’s how to pick one that will get you over the finish line…and beyond.
All-encompassing solutions that run your end-to-end business operations, enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms help companies operate smarter, better and more efficiently in their competitive marketplaces.
Getting the most out of these multifaceted platforms requires an implementation partner that has the relevant skills and experience; develops a robust deployment plan; manages the complete project; and then offers long-term support that lasts well beyond go-live.
Keeping the Project on Schedule
According to TechTarget, the right ERP implementation partner can also keep the project on schedule and on budgets; provide access to vendor contacts; and share its knowledge about ERP system issues and their potential limitations. That partner should also help your project team understand available vendor training and supplement the software vendor's training in key areas.
“In addition, the implementation partner should explain the ERP system configuration to the project team so they can support it post go-live without the implementation partner's help,” TechTarget adds, “and they should supply documentation and instructions for key items.”
The right implementation partner will also listen to suggestions and work to understand your company’s specific needs. If this doesn’t happen, you may want to start looking for a replacement.
“The implementation partner may ignore a company's business needs because they're inexperienced in general or are inexperienced in a specific business area and are trying to deflect,” TechTarget cautions. “They may also have omitted the business need when scoping the implementation project's cost.”
Make Sure They’re in it for the Long Haul
You should also choose a partner that’s in it for the long haul, and that won’t just “disappear” once your ERP is in place and operating.
“Look for a partner that has deep industry expertise, understands your business processes inside and out, and has a track record of process expertise,” CIO Magazine advises. “It’s also important to make sure the ERP vendor and/or third-party partner has the global reach to meet your requirements. Remember, once you make an ERP decision, you’re committed for the long haul.”
Other key success factors that you should consider when interviewing and assessing potential implementation partners include technical and functional expertise; experience working with companies in your industry sector; and good compatibility and a productive working relationship. The latter is particularly important because ERP implementations can extend for months and team members have to be able to interact with one another and move the project forward.
“When it comes to choosing an ERP partner, it’s vital that the capabilities that it delivers complements the way that the company operates,” InformationAge points out. “With such platforms covering a range of areas, from finance to production, a wrong fit can cause operations to unravel, and be costly to revenue, so this decision needs to be thoroughly thought out.”
Finally, make sure your ERP implementation partner understands and can support your company’s overall business goals. “Look for a partner that is interested in your business, and the way you work, before you ever sign on the dotted line,” one UK software provider told InformationAge. “[Find] a partner that’s realistic and authentic and interested in what you want to achieve as a business, and one that shares a similar outlook on the market and business operations as you.”
CEBA Solutions is a long-time Oracle NetSuite Solution Partner that can help your company select, implement and optimize its ERP system and other solutions. We’ll provide as much—or, as little—guidance as you require throughout the process, post go-live and throughout the life of your ERP.