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Crestwood Associates

6 Questions You Should Ask to Find the Right Partner for Your ERP Implementation


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    Have you ever noticed that when you go shopping you are inundated with so many choices?  For example, the other day I went to the grocery for butter.  I was amazed to see over 30 different kinds of butter.  (Yes the stuff that comes from cows!)  I am sure that searching for the right Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner is not much different.  You go to the internet, type in your key word search and you can find a plethora of companies vying for your business.  Here are a few important items to consider when “weeding” through it all.

    1) Does the Partner listen and understand your needs?

    You need a Partner who demonstrates a clear understanding of your business concerns and your industry, a Partner who can draw from extensive expertise with multiple businesses. Your Partner should suggest strategies and develop your business solution with you.

    2) Will the Partner provide references?

    Make sure the Partner will supply you with a list of customers similar to you or in your industry who will answer questions and provide references to you. Be prepared when you call the references so that you can obtain the most benefit from your call.

    3) Has the Partner obtained all required certifications?

    Microsoft Gold Certified Dynamics Partners provide proven expertise while implementing your solution.  Choosing a Partner who has obtained these goals allows you to be assured that the company has made a considerable investment in their company and employees to maintain these high standards.

    4) How is the Project Management and Methodology?

    Every successful Partner will have a fully documented methodology.  It needs to be something that is simple enough for everyone in the company to understand, and complex enough to cover all the situations that you may encounter. As you meet people in the company, Project Managers, Consultants, Trainers, Developers etc., ask them about the methodology, and where their role fits into the methodology.  This will help to reinforce that the methodology is embedded in the organization.

    5) Does the business extend beyond Microsoft Dynamics GP?

    For example, does the Partner have expertise in working with the database, portal, and business-intelligence solutions you intend to use?  Having a one-stop shop can be a huge advantage is a seamless implementation. 

    6) How will the Partner support you after go-live?

    After the Partner implements the business solution, you want to make sure the organization supports your staff to continue to review the system and to address any problems that might arise.

    1. Support Desk– Do they have a dedicated support staff and not just a consultant who happens to be in the office that day?  Is the support offered in a way that is convenient to their customers?  Do they offer support maintenance plans? 
    2. Continuing Education – Technology changes at a very rapid pace and it is very difficult to stay abreast of the latest modifications and applications that can help you remain competitive.  Make sure the Partner has dedicated resources that help you to grow by continuous education of the latest technologies the products have to offer.

    Choosing the right Partner can increase efficiency and grow your business. Today, it is more important than ever to conduct your business with resources that will enable you to fully reach your maximum potential.  Make sure you align your business with other businesses that can help you achieve these goals. Take the time to establish relationships that will foster your success for many years to come.  We would like to be that Partner for you in the Chicago area.  Please contact us at [email protected].

    By Diana Marks, Customer Service Manager, at your Chicago Area Microsoft Gold Certified Dynamics GP Partner, Crestwood Associates.

    3 Responses to “6 Questions You Should Ask to Find the Right Partner for Your ERP Implementation”

    1. Norbert says:

      Good article. You learn what to consider when you know how the ERP sales guys think. They think like this: http://www.sevenlakessoftware.com/information/COERPCourse/

    2. Diana,

      Good post. I want to add another vote for the continuing education. It doesn’t have to just be about the technology. All vendors you work with should leave your team more capable whether it be on technology or best practices for business. e.g. inventory management. I would make sure that I work with a vendor that has the patience to field lots of questions and the expertise to answer them well.

      All the best!

      Melissa Paulik
      former GP Manufacturing product manager)

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