Steps to Selecting The Right ERP Implementation Partner
Posted on: March 24, 2016 | By: David Kwo | QAD Business Process
Since our inception, in 1992, Logan Consulting has implemented multiple ERP packages, including, but not limited to, Oracle, SAP, QAD, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft, Baan, MS Dynamics. While each ERP package has its strengths and weaknesses, the ERP market has matured enough that almost all ERP systems can do the job in the market it targets. Since this is the case, the variables affecting the success of an ERP implementation often fall to the companies own commitment to the project and the implementation partner it selects. ERP systems are much more than just another application. It facilitates and directs the processes that are essential to conducting business and impacts the lives of the people who use it. With so much at stake, what are the criteria you should use to find a trusted implementation partner to guide your team through a successful ERP implementation?
Google is always a good place to start and we all work hard to have our names show up on the first page of our searches. In talking with our clients, most consulting firms look impressive when you land on their web-page. With such an array of choices, you need to define specific criteria for evaluating your implementation partner. Some questions our clients have asked are:
- What business issues are driving us to consider a new ERP system?
- Do we have an executive sponsor for this ERP project?
- Have we defined a clear vision for the benefits our new ERP system will deliver?
Early on in the ERP implementation life cycle, software module expertise was considered the key skill set needed. Over time, companies have found that while software expertise is needed, the understanding of the functional business area (i.e. operations or finance) is just as important. In particular, Firms who understand business process reengineering and how to use it to drive EBITDA improvements through increased inventory turns or leveraging buying power are what truly drives a positive return. One of the biggest mistakes we see companies make is it believes an ERP implementation is a technology project and not a business project. Your ERP Implementation Partner should be able to work with your organization to gather business requirements, map processes and create efficiencies. It should also have the ability to help your organization work through the issues that arise with new technology and a change in business processes.
ERP implementations consist of a complex web of non-technical challenges that can make or break your project. Following are six areas where your organization should partner with a trusted third-party:
- Selecting an ERP system that supports the corporate vision
- Creating a business case to help justify the implementation of a new ERP system
- Identifying ways to streamline workflows through business process reengineering
- Engaging end-users in requirements gathering and obtaining end-user buy-in to the project as a whole
- Testing the ERP system before implementation to avoid post go-live issues
- Training employees to use the new system and support system improvements
Bottom line: know your ERP consultant. While technical experts are required to implement an ERP system, it is the business expertise that drives the real value.
Is Your Accounting Software Hurting Your Business?
Top 10 Inventory & Operations Decisions Distributors Are Making Blind
2020 Nucleus Research Report on ERP Technology