ERP Consulting Explained
Manufacturers and distributors don’t want to waste their precious resources. Therefore, many decide to go without a consultant during their ERP projects, thinking that they’re saving money by taking care of their software on their own. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Businesses don’t have the time or expertise to tackle a complex software project. A whole host of issues could pop up without the right guidance—poor user adoption, corrupt data, budget overrun, long delays, you name it. With consultants, you gain the expertise to make the most of your software investment.
A consultant is a critical asset to ERP success, not a waste of money. An ERP consultant is essentially a guru in all things software. By overseeing projects and providing comprehensive services, consultants bring out the best in your ERP solution, helping you increase ROI and protect your project from failure. Below, we explain why ERP consultants are essential to driving business value.
It’s not hard to get overwhelmed by ERP projects. After all, the software touches every area of your enterprise, from finances to production planning. Balancing technical and functional requirements while staying on budget isn’t easy—especially when you take on an implementation alone.
ERP consultants provide the proper guidance to remove the complexity from implementations. Instead of taking days to figure out the right method of migrating data, for example, consultants will put their knowledge to work, quickly putting in place the best method to transfer data into your new system. Your project team can cut down on trial and error with the help of ERP experts.
Additionally, consultants are trained to center the entire project around specific business processes and objectives. It’s all too common for a company to overcomplicate their ERP platform with unnecessary customizations and add-ons. Consultants know how to find simpler options and help clients prioritize project goals.
To execute a particular activity, should you customize a feature, add a module or wait until sometime after the system’s deployment to look for a solution? Should you figure out a way to integrate current platforms with your ERP or do without them altogether? Consultants have the answers, so you aren’t wasting time on extra work that adds complexity to your ERP project.
A project team consists of multiple roles, such as a project manager, business analysts, technical experts and power users. Chances are, your business doesn’t have all the people required to fill a project team—and able to take time off from their regular workload. You’re even less likely to have anybody in your company with extensive experience in implementing your specific ERP platform.
A consulting firm will fill in these gaps, bringing their expertise to your organization. The best consultants have years of experience and certifications in software vendors. They’ve seen it all and done it all, meaning that no challenge is too much. Their deep understanding of your ERP vendor will ensure that you fully capitalize on the features designed to optimize your business performance.
But software expertise isn’t enough. Consultants should also be well-versed in your industry. At Datix, our consultants have substantial experience in managing ERP projects for multiple manufacturing and distribution environments. During business process modeling, we provide a fresh, unbiased perspective on your workflows. We can detect problem areas you’ve never noticed and identify the right solution to smooth over these issues.
Businesses tend to take shortcuts during their implementations. It’s not hard to skip over a step in the ERP project, such as API testing or cleaning customer data. Unfortunately, any neglect during the implementation can result in critical errors or poor user adoption. That’s why you should have consultants on hand to ensure nothing slips through the cracks.
Leading consultants follow a proven methodology in line with industry best practices. Datix, for example, has a Strategic Solution Process that builds transparency, communication, project control and change management into every stage of the project. Each business is different, but best practices pretty much stay the same. Consultants know how to align these practices to your unique needs, instilling organization, documentation and collaboration into your entire implementation. Following a proven process reduces your chances of ERP failure, but if there’s still a misstep in your project, consultants can pick it back up and carry it to the finish line.
The ERP solution lifecycle is a journey without a destination. To meet changing industry standards and customer demands, businesses must never stop improving their processes as well as their software. That’s why consultants should be with you during every part of the journey.
An ERP vendor’s primary concern is selling their solutions. Though they offer support, it’s not as extensive as value-added resellers (VARs) and consultants. The best consultants are committed to providing support every step of the way. That means offering a wide variety of services and solutions, such as customizations, disaster recovery, integrations and upgrades. The purpose of ERP is to optimize business processes for years to come. With consultants by your side, you can take advantage of their comprehensive services to maximize the value of your ERP as your business evolves.
You might’ve been asking yourself if you should work with an ERP consultant, but the real question is why would you not? Your employees have enough on their plates running the business. Adding an ERP project on top of their regular workloads could result in a poorly implemented solution and/or lapses in current operations. Consultants will alleviate the pressure off your workforce and give your project the proper guidance to achieve a successful deployment.
There’s no better partner in your ERP journey than Datix. A certified Epicor partner, we know ERP inside and out. After over 20 years in business, Datix has developed a strong reputation for serving a wide range of manufacturers and distributors. Our consultants work with each client from start to finish to deliver robust, scalable solutions that meet specific business needs.
Get the most value from your ERP. Contact Datix today to find out how our consultants can transform your business with software!