You’ve done your research, you’ve narrowed down your choices. Perhaps you’ve even made your decision and are ready to implement a new or upgraded
But implementing an ERP solution isn’t like buying and installing a dishwasher. It’s a complex and costly investment that will impact your business for years to come. You need an implementation partner who not only knows his product but who can work well with your team and provide the guidance and support that they will need to make the project a success. The ideal ERP partner will work with you to develop a deployment plan, manage the implementation project and provide ongoing long-term support.
So, what does an ideal partner look like? What criteria will you use to make this important choice? Let us make a few suggestions:
Technical Expertise. It goes without saying that a thorough knowledge of the software is essential. But there are further things to consider. Your partner also needs to understand how the new ERP solution will integrate with your other existing software, systems, and processes. Look for evidence of their expertise by certifications, awards, recommendations, and reputation. For instance, is the partner recognized by the software vendor as a Gold Certified Partner for ERP? The partner’s team should also be certified and credentialed. A reliable partner should be working closely with the software vendor to remain up to date on the technology. Do they have easy access to the vendor’s technical experts? Do they have a relationship with other vendors involved with integrated software? Ask questions, check references.
Industry Expertise. Besides being an expert of the technology, your partner should also be familiar and experienced with the processes and business requirements specific to your industry. You may need add-ons or modules developed specifically for your particular vertical. Your partner should have not only the technical knowledge but the experience working with others in your field. They should be conversant in the industry language of your teams and understand your industry’s best practices. They must be cognizant of industry regulations and compliance requirements. Do they know the third-party solutions and add-ons that you rely on? Rather than an ERP generalist, find a partner with a track record of successful deployments with other companies in your field. Make sure they listen and truly understand your present needs as well as your long-term goals.
Compatibility. An ERP deployment can last months, requiring hundreds of decisions and many late nights. Your team must be able to interact with your implementation partner throughout the deployment and in the years that follow. You’ll need to feel that you can trust not only their technical expertise but also their work ethic and their personal interaction and communication with your team. Is your team comfortable interacting with them and are they accessible? Do they demonstrate the professionalism and customer-oriented approach your organization desires? You need to feel confident they’ll provide consistent, reliable service over the life of your system.
Choosing the right ERP implementation partner will be just as important as choosing the right software. With nearly 30 years’ experience and more than 500 successful ERP deployments, Western Computer can help. We have the technical and industry expertise to make your implementation project a success. If you’re in the market for ERP,