Top Three Qualities of a Good ERP Partner
As discussed in many of our blogs, purchasing and implementing ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software can be an expensive endeavor. Considering the amount of time and effort invested, you will want to ensure you see a return on your ERP investment, and to know that you are working with the right ERP partner for your company. However, that can be a significant challenge; knowing if the ERP partner you have selected is the right fit for your company’s specific business needs and is able to set your company up for future growth and success.
Top Three Ways to Tell if Your ERP Partner is the Right Fit
1. They listen.
Your ERP partner should listen to you and let your company drive the requirements process. By the time you bring in a partner, you should have already collaborated with all the key stakeholders and your requirements should be thoroughly documented and prioritized. Your partner may help you change or tweak the requirements if needed, but your company, not the partner, should initiate your requirements.
2. Their company is knowledgeable, experienced, and culturally similar.
Chances are before your ERP software is fully implemented you will have interacted with many people from the ERP vendor side of the house. All of your conversations and interactions should be positive. From the salesperson who began the conversation, to the implementation team, to the support desk. Everyone in the partner company should understand your needs, the industry, and most importantly, the ERP product you are using. If you feel uneasy or don’t get the sense of confidence with every interaction, you may want to rethink your decision. Oftentimes, a gut feeling can be quite revealing.
In addition to being knowledgeable and experienced, you want to work with a company where you feel like your businesses are culturally similar. Working with an ERP partner that shares a similar work ethic and style will go a long way to ensure a smooth implementation. Culturally similar organizations will have better communication and can avoid vague or unreasonable project expectations. You want to ensure you feel comfortable with your ERP, and that they really are your partner, not just your software vendor.
3. They are a solid company with a proven track record.
You will use this ERP for years to come. Technology will change and how your company does business, even the way your industry does business may change. You want to choose an ERP partner that you know will be there for the duration. Be sure to check into the vendor’s background and finances, make sure you select a company that has an established track record and will be there when you need them, even if it’s not for another ten years. You can also ask for references, as any reputable ERP partner will be willing to share references.
Taking into consideration the amount of time your company has invested, or will invest, in selecting an ERP, you want to take just as much effort in selecting your ERP partner. Just as all ERPs are different, with different options, just as many diverse ERP partners want your business. And while one partner may be ideal for one company, a different one may be just what your company needs for future growth and success. Take the time to ensure the partner you choose is the right fit for your company.