While watching the (too close for comfort) Ohio State vs. Cal football game last weekend, one thing that struck me was that the commentators kept mentioning over and over the word “trust”.
- The Ohio State quarterback makes most of the big plays for the Buckeyes because he doesn’t trust his receivers or running backs enough.
- The one receiver that the Buckeyes quarter back trusts the most connected with him for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns.
- The Cal coach placed too much trust in his kicker, who was wide left of the uprights on all three of his field goal attempts.
All this talk of trust on the football field got me thinking about the amount of trust we ask our clients to place in our team when we implement a
Here are 6 ways you can gain trust in the ERP implementation partner you are considering:
- Do your homework. Do some research and find out:
- What are the partner’s qualifications?
- Do they have recognized industry certifications and awards?
- How long have they been in business and working with ERP solution you want?
- Do they have strong relationships with other partners?
- Are they in close geographic proximity (not always necessary)?
- What are their areas of product and industry expertise?
- Are their clients willing to vouch for them (by giving them case studies, testimonials, references, etc.)?
You should be able to find a lot of this information on their website.
- Get a feel for them yourself. Arrange a meeting to not only further identify their qualifications and learn more about them but to determine if their organization is compatible with yours. Don’t be afraid to ask:
- What are their client and employee retention rates?
- What are their processes and implementation methodology?
More important than the questions you are asking is the impression you get. Ask for different members of the project team to be present at this meeting so you get a feel for the whole team. It’s important to choose a partner you can work with and enjoy working with as the relationship will ideally be long-term. Does the partner fit your company’s culture and philosophy? Does the partner listen and communicate effectively and strive to understand your business and requirements?
- Find out about training and support options and resources.
- Does the partner offer on-going training and technical support and perform upgrades and maintenance?
- What type of training program or approach do they employ (e.g. train-the-trainer vs. train-the-user)?
- Will their technical support options service your company effectively?
- Discuss implementation resources.
- Does the partner have the necessary resources for the implementation to be completed on time and coincide with your project timeline?
- What are the implementation team members’ certifications and expertise?
- How many of the employees focus solely on the specific software, and how long have they each worked with it?
- View a demo designed for you. Even if you’ve already seen how the software works, a trustworthy partner will show how it will work for YOU. If you explain your requirements to a partner and they give you a generic demo, then they probably weren’t listening or understanding your needs at the level necessary to make your implementation a success.
- Request references. This will tell you if the partner implemented the software at companies similar to yours (industry, company size, number of employees, etc.)Talk to other businesses like yours that have worked with this company in the past to find out:
- How satisfied are they with their implementation and with the support they have received?
- Are billing matters dealt with fairly and accurately?
- What do they think of the ongoing relationship with the partner after the implementation is complete?
These six steps can help you build a foundation of trust with and in your ERP software partner that will lead to a better executed implementation process and a winning relationship in the long-term.
By Socius, an