We live in a world of fierce competition and market fluctuations, choosing a strategic partner can be both a great breakthrough for the company and potentially carry huge risks.
There are a vast number of companies that implement and support Microsoft products. After getting acquainted with the market proposals, it may seem that the provision of these services is not particularly difficult and the choice of a partner would not be a problem.
However, this is not the case.
There are indeed a large number of potential partners, but partners who know how to properly organize projects for implementing ERP systems are not many. This activity requires the accumulation and multiplication of a lot of knowledge, and such partners are consulting companies rather than IT solution providers. There is a lack of quality services and highly qualified specialists as universities do not train specialists in this area.
Let's find out together how to choose a reliable ERP systems implementation and support partner to protect your company from potential business risks.
- Experience proven over the years
The first and major question is “What is your experience in implementing and supporting ERP systems and proven record of cases?”
As predictable as it sounds, experience is always one of the major criteria for choosing your ERP partner. But be careful! The date of incorporation is not the correct way to evaluate the experience.
A high level of expertise is more than beautiful presentations, it is a team of experienced consultants who can argue the best methods of achieving results and warn you of any risks. You must measure the experience of the company not only from the moment of its existence, but make sure that the potential partner has a proven track record of ERP implementation and support projects.
- Methodology is more than a word
Ask your potential partner: “What are your methodologies used to make this project work?”
Successful implementation of an ERP is a very important process to run a successful business. But this does not change the fact that ERP implementation or support goals can be, and often are, completely different. For example, one company pursues the goal of scaling the business and its development, while another wants to use innovative technologies to manage the business processes and activities of the company as a whole.
Ask your potential partner how exactly they are going to reach your goals and what project methodology would be used in this case.
Which answers are worth questioning? Those that do not demonstrate understandable and concise methods that will lead to the successful achievement of your goals.
- Get to know your team before it's too late
“Does your team have the experience and track record?”
The key to a successful service company is its qualified employees. As mentioned above, universities do not prepare for such a profession. With this insight, you need to understand how your potential partner forms a project team. Do not hesitate to ask about the practical experience of the people who will lead your project.
Special internship programs for training specialists will be an additional plus for the partner. In particular,
- The project is a two-way interaction
“How do you see our engagement in this project?”
Top management and/or employees directly involved in project results should be the final decision to cooperate with an ERP partner. Not surprisingly, this is a strategic decision that can affect the overall business result.
However, the participation of the top management in the project is not limited to this. You should understand that you have to provide the necessary support for the project to prepare the company for transformation and to ensure that new opportunities are taken advantage of at the end of the project.
Don`t forget to ask the potential partner how strong your involvement in the project should be and what it will take for you to achieve results on time.
Strong promises from your partner of leaving all your worries to them and placing everything on their shoulders should make you more wary than happy. Remember, it’s a partnership.
- Quality has a price
“How do you calculate the cost of the project?”
Сompanies with high expertise, quality staff evaluation and training, and flexible project management methodologies are the most qualified to implement or support your ERP system.
However, high expertise does have a price. The most expensive resource in today's world is time and what you are getting for that time. You should understand that when you are working with a service company, the main price difference depends on the specialists' rates. The higher the qualifications of the people who will be responsible for your project, the more expensive the project will cost you. But do not forget that the return on investment can be much higher if your partner helps you achieve your business goals. If you choose to save money it may ultimately cost you a lot more.
ERP system implementation projects are very complex activities that can entail risks of many different natures. We hope that after reading this, you will not abandon ERP implementation initiatives. After all, despite all the complexities these projects bring, their value exceeds any fears.
In case you have already implemented an ERP system, but realize that your partner has stopped giving your business the attention it deserves, there are always professionals who can help you achieve your goals at the pace you need.
We are hoping that our advice will help you to analyze a potential partner and you will find your perfect business match in your ERP journey. But remember, we put the price factor last, because quality metrics, although the most difficult, are also the most valuable when it's time to choose a reliable partner.
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By Innoware, Gold Microsoft Partner