Microsoft Dynamics vendors provide comparisons and opinions to professionals in the ERP/Accounting software selection process



Beware, ERP Experts

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So here's the scenario: you receive an email that offers you a free “White Paper” on the Top ways to ensure ERP success.  No company names, just some innocuous non-specific wording that helps imply that the article is “neutral” and thus qualified. You fill in your company and contact information and then you are allowed to download this “fact-filled” expert’s information. The trouble is that it’s not always facts, but often opinions, and it’s not neutral at all, but rather from a firm that wants your business. Their hope is to establish credibility with you based on the free information provided. Next they contact you to meet and show you their “perfect fit” product and services. The reality is they are no different than every other firm out there vying for your business. Some simply try to soft talk you and others out right use deception.

“White Paper” Allure

The White Paper may in fact offer up some good insights, it may have even been written by someone who is an expert, but it has been placed in your hands not merely as information but as a carefully orchestrated marketing ploy to sell you on the firm providing it. There is nothing inherently wrong with this tactic, it’s not illegal, but it is very suspect for sure. The facts from the expert do not necessarily go hand in hand with what this vendor is attempting to convey.

More importantly, until someone learns about your firm and its needs, they cannot possibly know if a product, service or implementation methodology is a good fit for you and your needs.

Be cautious and be wary of these ploys. Use all the information you can gather and then sort through it with your team. In the end, no one has all the answers or knows your business and what is going to make your bottom line better than you do.

Consultant Experts

Many firms do not have the time, talent or expertise to undertake an ERP search and review.  The most logical course may be to hire a consultant to lead the effort. This can work well, however, check out the consultant to ensure they don’t also sell ERP software -- that is a real conflict of interest. Next, make sure they have done this many times and - if possible - they should have experience in your industry. This is not always the case so make sure they truly understand your industry by how they ask you and your team questions. Generally speaking, CPA consultants from "Big 4" accounting firms are not your best choice and should be avoided.  These firms almost always have divisions that sell and implement ERP and guide you toward their selection of choice instead of what is best for your firm.

Implementation Experts

ERP firms have had challenges in the past several years staffing up to meet all the technical challenges that ERP systems have thrust upon them. Ask potential implementation firms to provide a list of the people who will be assigned to your site and a bio on each of them. Check their qualifications, how many implementations have they delivered, and to whom. Call their clients and ask about their projects. Make sure they tell you if they’re employees or consults on loan.

Many firms will say they can’t provide this information until they assign the project. You need to push back and tell them you cannot sign a contract until you know who will be delivering services to you. If they are local try to meet as many as you can, especially the lead project manager. Go to their offices and check them out. This is a critical project for you and should be given as much advance review as you can afford.

Be suspect, be careful and above all else, take your time. Do not fall into the common traps of rushing to meet some artificial deadline or some discount that is offered if you purchase before a certain date. These are tools used against you to close the sale. A reputable firm will understand your need to move cautiously and verify.

If you use Dynamics AX, SL, GP, or NAV, check out one of our upcoming webinars and find out how Journyx can add on to your system:

About the AuthorCurt Finch is the CEO of Journyx, a Certified Microsoft Partner. Journyx maximizes the value of Microsoft Dynamics by adding enterprise time tracking. Journyx Accountlink for Microsoft Dynamics allows companies to quickly implement a complete time tracking solution using existing business data in Dynamics. Connect with Curt on Google+.

by Journyx

One Response to “Beware, ERP Experts”

  1. Jurjun Koning says:

    Was there a question you wanted to ask ERP consultants? I’ve been implementing AX for 11 years now and the pits falls everyone talks about are still being talked about. I don’t think they will go, but making people aware of them. This should be common knowledge for every consultant and his obligation to manage with his client. For example, filtering the wants from the needs. Scope creep due to evolving understanding are very common. In my opinion trust over the course of an implementation is the most important thing to manage. Often I see this as the starting point of a project failing to deliver. On that note, I think a tip I can give is. In my opinion there is a level of documentation required, The larger the client the more risk management is involved, so there isn’t a clear mark. But keep an eye on the quality of the documentation. It should be to the point, serve it’s purpose and not the agenda of project managers or legal. If you find yourself in this situation, start managing the relation, it can’t be very difficult. You both want the same thing it will cost more money. Split the bill and move on. Trust me this is far more cost efficient than winning your point and damaging the relationship.