Guidelines for Selecting the Best ERP Consulting Firm
We recommend making sure your business goals align with the expertise of the consulting firm. Selecting an independent firm can provide a less biased opinion about software and open-minded, honest implementation solutions. They can provide unique insight into business processes, and help your business mold the software to fit your users. Finding the right fit can be paramount in this process.
Learn more about what to look for when selecting an ERP consulting firm.
When entering an ERP vendor selection process it’s important to dedicate proper time and energy in this initial stage to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks. This process doesn’t have to be difficult. At Datix, we’ve seen hundreds of businesses navigate this process successfully. Those that apply industry best practices to their selection process are more successful. Our template will provide you with a step-by-step template that outlines these best practices in a simple, easy-to-follow road map.
Selecting the Best ERP Consulting Firm
Large, costly failures make for attention-grabbing headlines. Fortunately, these project failures can usually be prevented. Often, working with an independent consulting firm is a successful option for those seeking to mitigate risk — particularly if your partner has past successful experience on the implementation side. Any firm can sell software, but the real test comes in executing the software to your exact specifications, and then being able to complete the project in a timely manner within budget.
Datix has assisted numerous manufacturing companies with their ERP software selection and implementation after they have already been entrenched in a failing project. We’ve witnessed firsthand how quickly projects can go off the rails if businesses don’t understand proper processes or how to make the software flexible for their users. One of the tell tale signs of whether or not an ERP consulting firm can deliver on their promises is there ability to show you a process by which the system they are installing will work, and how they know the investment will pay for itself.
What to look for
It’s important that the firm you select is able to explain current software options and implementation process best practices. You would hope they could do this in a way that you can understand, and that makes sense. Best practices are changing quickly. With the development of cloud services and hybrid systems, you need to know how these things could affect your business. Some industries are affected by this more than others.
Business processes define your company. The ERP consulting firm you select should have a defined process for understanding how you would like to use the system, and process for proving use cases throughout the implementation. They should be able to show you past examples of how they have implemented these types of processes in the past.
Consider if your business will be implementing an eCommerce site or CRM system as well. Many firms offer integration solutions, specific experience, or insight into how these systems may be streamlined along with your ERP. Evaluating how these systems can work together could offer powerful ROI. A good firm should be able to layer out how these integration could best work.
Make sure the ERP consulting firm you select will be with you throughout the process and can offer maintenance plans as needed. This will help ensure support when you need it most. The phrase, “you don’t know what you don’t know” is common in this field. Your users will take time to adapt to the system, and may have input they’d like to add down the road. It’s important that you build in this kind of flexibility to save money.
Most importantly, can the firm offer evidence that all the customizations, integrations, and developments added throughout the implementation will work prior to your go live date? This is where many of the major issues generally show up. Working with a partner that can show you and make your business comfortable with everything being implemented is critical to your project being successful.
Finding the best fit is an extensive process that starts with research and should end with a new streamlined ERP system. Your users should be trained and have a good idea of business processes upon completion of go live.
This video goes over some of the reasons why businesses have chosen Datix as a consultant.
Here are a few tips/questions we recommend when thinking about working with a consulting firm on an ERP project:
- Few solutions are one size fits all
- Failure rates are high and costly so make sure you know who you are working with
- Research will help you narrow down the top 4 firms you may want to work with
- Check for each firm’s industry knowledge. Do they work with manufacturers? What about distributors or financial services companies?
- Find out their implementation methodology
- See how long the consulting firm has been in operation
- Make sure their software offering will be around for the next decade, too
- Look for their leadership and technical skills, both will come into play
- Always ask for references and advice from others about working with a consultant
- You may have a better implementation working with a consultant instead of working directly to the software company
- Find out what the benefits the ERP consulting firm offered to past clients
- Will this ERP consulting firm help you with the software selection process?
- The software may or may not be the best fit for you
- Make sure they are able to offer custom solutions as needed
- How available is your consultant or consulting team?
- Make sure you receive the attention your project deserves from start to finish
Datix Inc. is a top ERP Consulting Firm in North America. We specialize in Epicor consulting and CRM integration. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help your business save money and increase profit through the use of software contact us today.