ERP projects aren’t easy. They’re complex by nature. A good partner can guide you through them to a successful implementation and post-implementation support. But how do you ensure you choose the perfect ERP implementation partner for you?
You’ve done your needs analysis. You’ve eliminated many solutions. It’s possible that you already know the ERP best fitted to your team. But ERP implementations and upgrades often aren’t as easy as just picking the correct solution. ERP projects involve an organization-wide effort that is time and cost intensive. They are complex by nature and highly important to the future growth of your organization.
An ERP partner is just that: a partner. Someone you can trust to guide you and your team through the project & beyond. The optimal ERP partner works with you to develop the project plan & provides long-term support for your team with the new system. But how do you ensure you choose the perfect ERP implementation partner for you?
Technical Knowledge — ensure your ERP partner knows the solution
Some partners have a very specific set of technical expertise, while others offer a bit of everything. For such a large project, try to partner with an organization that has a depth of knowledge of your ERP solution. For example, if it’s an implementation of an Oracle ERP (such as JD Edwards, Oracle Cloud ERP, or Oracle E-Business Suite), the partner should hold ‘platinum partner’ membership with Oracle. To qualify for such statuses, partners of all vendors continually update their product knowledge and are certified by the vendor to optimize the solution.
Culture Fit — does your organization ‘fit’ with this ERP partner?
ERP implementations are lengthy projects, often taking more than one year to implement (particularly for international ERP deployments). That means you’re going to get to know your partner very well through some early mornings & late evenings. That said, open and honest communication with your partner is a key to success. Ask yourself:
Is their team responsive to your needs? This can become apparent early in the buying cycle, where you may notice seemingly minor details that ultimately signal a higher or lower level of flexibility to needs. Where possible, work with customer-oriented partners that want to help your organization to succeed.
How accessible is the management of the project and partner organization? This can become very necessary very quickly as issues arise during the course of a project. Open communication across all levels of both organizations is vital to resolving such issues.
Does your team feel confident about their technical expertise and their soft skills? When you’re working with an ERP partner, you’re bringing in a team of ERP experts. However, you’ll also want to work with approachable experts. This is a huge factor which is often overlooked in selecting a partner.
Industry Expertise — your implementation partner should know your industry
Choose a partner with a history of successful implementations with organizations like yours. Certain industries have niche requirements and when unforeseen issues arise (which they nearly always do!), it is useful to know that your partner is equipped to handle any of these which may arise. Find a partner that focuses on a handful of key industries, one of which is yours. But don’t just take their word for it, ask their customers what they think – always request references!
ERP projects aren’t easy. They’re time-consuming and complex. A good partner can guide you through them to a successful implementation and post-implementation support. Take your time choosing the right partner as this can be the difference between digital transformation and ERP failure!