How to Make the Right Choice of ERP Implementation Partner

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In our ERP world, we get those who manufacture and those who distribute. The ones who make ERP, typically rely on “distribution” firms to sell and support the end consumer. These firms range from Tier 1 or mainstream consulting organizations that supply multiple ERP products, to niche, agile organizations that support a single ERP, thus developing a focused depth of knowledge.

In this environment, manufacturers have to develop, as a core competency, the ability to enable their  ERP implementation partners with the knowledge and tools for continued sustainable success. This all has to happen, whilst also adding capabilities into the ERP to remain relevant, and promoting of the brand to all and sundry.

For this reason, it is important for vendors to launch and maintain a robust, yet rewarding partner model that enables better selling and provides the knowledge to foster customer intimacy through educational upliftment.

When implementing ERP, the consumer organization generally does not have the prior experience or exposure to successfully roll this out on their own. I don’t only mean that the in-depth, intricate knowledge of the system is lacking but also the know-how and ability to run profound projects may not be there either.

Select the Professionals

There are many comparisons to what implementing an ERP is like but the one I prefer is akin to child education.

On the journey of selecting an appropriate school for your child, you would evaluate all institutions that are nearby, either to work or home. You would review their facilities, interrogate the principal, analyze the extracurricular activities, talk to current students’ parents, scrutinize the curriculum and you may even reach out to previous alumni. Most important though is to evaluate the teaching staff.

Ultimately it will be these individuals that would be responsible to ensure your little one is provided with the foundational knowledge to excel in life. The school facilities and extracurricular activities may be phenomenal but would you risk your child’s education with below par teachers?

With this in mind, selecting an ERP vendor with geographically convenient offices, exceptionally innovative technologies, high levels of capability and big brand exposure may be great on paper but if it has a sub-par partner landscape/program, this will be detrimental to your “child”/business.

The partner you select to implement your ERP is like selecting an individual who has to teach your child to read, write and count. You would not put your faith in someone who does not have the battle scars from previous experience. Also, you would not go with an organization that does not want to see your child excel.

Experience, Experience, Experience

Choosing an ERP implementation partner with previous experience and exposure within your industry, who is willing to bring that knowledge into your implementation is the right choice. It should be a firm that can challenge your organization with a new level of thinking. It should be a firm that can push you out of your organizational comfort zone and partner with you for continued, sustainable success.

It must be a firm that has the credentials to back up in-depth knowledge of the ERP they are putting into your company. It should also be a partner who has a close relationship with the vendor. After all, collaboration between vendor, partner and consumer is the first step towards a successful ERP implementation.

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