Key advice and considerations to select ERP consulting will best meet the needs of your organization and clients.
Finding the right ERP consultants can be cumbersome. Whether you need ERP consulting to keep up with the latest trends in education, streamline your supply chain, or expand your e-commerce site, it all begins with choosing the right team of experts to help you with these objectives.
As you may already know, Enterprise Resourcing Planning (ERP) systems help companies manage multiple departments and business functions. In a nutshell, ERP software supports your business from the inside out, by simplifying forecasting, accounting, payroll, warehousing, logistics, human capital management, and other industry-specific applications.
So if you’re an entrepreneur, chances are high that there will come a day when you will need the assistance of the right ERP experts to get your business going and to keep it on perfect (profitable) track as it continues to grow.
When it comes to getting the most out of ERP, a company must select the right ERP vendor (the software product) and hire the right ERP consultants to optimally implement the system. While choosing the right software is crucial, companies too often consider hiring the right ERP experts as an afterthought, if any thought is placed in it at all.
Why selecting the right ERP experts to implement your software system matters
When it comes to integrating new technology, companies often underestimate the amount of time necessary in order to make a well-informed decision. Many wind up settling for a suboptimal solution, as they feel they must compromise and work around the limitations that were not part of their original plan and requirements.
As a result, companies end up with ERP systems that don’t efficiently operate according to the needs of their business and clients. Unfortunately, well-known software disasters indicate that this turns out to be more costly in the long run because of wasted time and money on creating additional workflows around these systems.
This is why the right ERP consulting and implementation experts are necessary. When ERP software is integrated into a comprehensive system that is customized with all a company’s needs in mind, it becomes a positive force for business transformation that provides a framework your company can grow with and profit from for years to come.
Don’t skip the software selection and technology evaluation process
As explained above, a company must select the right vendor before choosing the best experts to implement the product. The ERP vendor selection involves two important steps known as the software selection and technology evaluation process. In a nutshell, this is when you:
- Determine and rank your requirements according to your business needs
- Establish your vendor selection criteria
- Outline a budget and timescale
- Shortlist and assess your ERP vendor options and conduct a product comparison
For this reason, a company should always start by analyzing its internal and external business processes from top to bottom to identify all the needs and requirements when looking to purchase ERP software. When these steps are properly done, it becomes much easier to determine which vendor on the market offers the product that best meets these specific needs and requirements.
Hire ERP consultants to assist your company with conducting these processes effectively
The software selection and technology evaluation process can be a daunting task, especially when working alongside multiple stakeholders. Fortunately, companies can receive the experienced assistance of ERP consultants who will help them set specifications for the software in order to choose the right vendor and the right package with the all right options.
This is also a great occasion for your company to determine if the ERP consulting firm is a good match for them. When ERP experts are involved during this initial phase, they have every opportunity to understand the nuances and needs of your business processes inside and out, and prove their expertise for your particular field.
They will help your company identify its key stakeholders (end users, relevant authorities/decision makers, etc.) and cooperate with them to gather and examine the requirements which will also be included in any subsequent evaluations.
In doing so, the ERP experts will be optimally informed and prepared to apply the best implementation and customization solution for the new software your company purchases. They will be able to explain every decision to your team, and which solution could best reconcile the strengths and pain points of your company along with its budgetary limitations – With utmost consideration of the people who will be adopting the system and who can help make it a real success.
5 attributes to seek in a high quality ERP consulting firm
When trying to choose an ERP consultant to implement and customize your software, an obvious tip is to look for firms that want to do more than just sell you a product.
To select the right ERP consultants and get the most out of your software system, verify if the firm you are considering checks out these 5 important attributes.
- Business processes expertise + Industry experience
Business procedures are the essential backbone to building a company. When looking for ERP consulting specialists, make sure the firm is able to give you relevant examples of how their solutions have been successful at improving similar process endeavors.
If a firm or added-value reseller can’t provide any usage examples or case studies attesting to their capabilities for working specifically within your industry, take it as an indication that this isn’t the right match for your project. While they may still be knowledgeable, chances are these aren’t the kind of consultants who will be able to align ERP with your business processes appropriately.
- Innovating implementation best practices
Software standards and methodologies constantly change, so the ERP consulting experts you hire should demonstrate that they continuously adapt to the evolving digital and business landscape. Is the firm improving their services to resolve the latest needs and challenges of companies in your industry?
If you see that they are certified partners of leading ERP vendors, ask them to demonstrate a streamlined implementation methodology that incorporates software best practices. This indicates that the ERP consulting firm can deliver the results in a timely manner — while remaining creative enough to suggest enhancements over the standard practices that are often used when using a solution for the first time.
- Extensive knowledge in systems integration
The firm you hire to integrate your company’s ERP system should preferably have expertise that extends beyond the scope of ERP only.
Nowadays, most companies are looking to integrate their front and back-office systems through APIs (external processes) or something more sophisticated such as blockchain technology. This is because it is the key to maximizing ROI and efficiency, all while making information instantaneous and taking transparency to a whole new level.
In other words, there are big benefits for your company’s bottom line over the long term by connecting CRM, e-commerce or other front and back-end instances with tighter ERP integration. Therefore, you ideally want ERP system integration professionals who can handle your entire tech stack and become your partner for long-term success, rather than seeking multiple consultants for each project at hand.
- Advanced software customization capabilities
When it comes to ERP systems, the reality is there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. The majority of companies require highly customized systems built to support their unique processes. That said, tailoring the software with custom fields and flows can create complications, adding extra risk to your project.
That’s why businesses should rely on an experienced ERP consulting company that includes coding gurus with proven records of successfully resolving the problems they encounter along the way. A firm like this would execute the necessary developments without delaying projects or jeopardizing your investment.
- Comprehensive, ongoing support
A big advantage of working with an ERP consulting firm who is a value-added reseller instead of the software vendor is the quality comprehensive support your company receives.
ERP consultants should be there from the very beginning to the end, and keep lines of communication open between everyone who is involved in a project, including bosses and colleagues, so as to ensure all needs are being met throughout the process of implementation.
Additionally, they must think outside of just an IT point-of-view by assisting businesses with proper training and change management processes during the implementation stage, but also after the system goes live.
Ask if the ERP consultant provide ongoing support post-implementation to maintain and update your solution for maximum usability to ensure it performs for many years to come.
The Bottom Line (and how S-Metric can help increase yours)
When it comes down to finding ERP consultants who can be a positive force for business transformation and give your company a critical edge over others, you need to approach it with careful consideration. Which is why we at S-Metric are so glad we could offer this valuable advice, along with our industry-leading expertise.
Our team of highly experienced ERP consultants have the combined knowledge, the solid understanding of multiple business industries, and the proven reputation to help your company leap forward, allowing it to run leaner, smoother, more efficiently and reach new heights!
The S-Metric team is made up of a variety of professionals, including attorneys and CPAs (Certified Public Accountants), whose combined expertise all contribute to building for your distribution company the best ERP software solution possible.
Contact the S-Metric team today and learn how an ERP software solution can be tailored just for your distribution company.
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