Buying and implementing an ERP system is about much more than the software itself. It’s also about finding the right team of professionals to help you set up the software you’ve chosen, so that it is ready to help you reach your business goals. Think of it like selecting a general contractor to help bring the blueprints for your dream house to life. Sure, anyone who has the means can buy the most exquisite and exotic materials, but it takes a skilled team of professionals to put it all together into a home that will stand the test of time. The same is true about ERP software and the consultants that help you implement it.
And in some regards, finding the right ERP software can often be easier than finding the right consultant. After all, you can try out an ERP system before you buy it, with a free demo or trial. But trying out a potential ERP consultant is much more difficult. So, what are you to do?
The best way to find the team that’s a match for you and your business needs is by interviewing ERP consultants thoroughly and then comparing them objectively. But if you’ve never done an ERP implementation in the past, it's hard to know what questions to ask. Many prospective ERP buyers make the mistake of only asking potential ERP consultants basic questions, often about how the implementation process works, the costs involved and the timeline. While these questions are important, they simply scratch the surface. If you want to separate one ERP partner from another, to find the one that is best able to make help you reach your ERP project goals, you need to dig deeper.
4 question types to ask when interviewing ERP consultants:
- Basic—Capture the key details of your ERP implementation project, like the ones I mentioned above.
Who will we be working with?
- Expectation setting—Ensure that everyone agrees from the very beginning. They are important for building a sound foundation for project success.
How often do your projects go over budget? What advice can you share to help us avoid this?
- Culture—Peel back the curtain and give you a look inside a potential ERP consultant’s business practices and what they might be like to work with.
What do you feel is the biggest factor in whether a client's implementation project succeeds or fails?
- Expertise—uncover whether a potential ERP partner has the knowledge and skill they need to make your ERP project a success.
Can you share client references from our industry?
Want to discover more questions like this?
Knowing the right questions to ask is a good start to finding the right ERP consultant to help you implement your software, but it is not the entire story. Once you get the answers to those questions, you need to compare one option against another objectively. But how, you ask? Something that might be helpful is a rubric where you can put the answers given by each potential consultant side by side, along with any relevant notes. No time to put together a tool like this for interviewing ERP consultants?
Meet our handy tool for interviewing ERP consultants
I have good news. We've already done the legwork and put together a comparison tool for you. All you must do is interview potential consultants and enter their answers. Once it's complete, it’ll help you see it at a glance who's the best fit for your project.