What to ask when working with an ERP partner

////What to ask when working with an ERP partner

Businesses may be looking to upgrade their Microsoft Dynamics implementation or add one to their daily operations. Sometimes it's possible to work directly with the vendor ensure that integration goes smoothly. However, as is the case with Microsoft, a better solution for many small-to-midsized businesses is working with a trusted partner to lead them through the transition process. They can work closely with the business to gain the most benefits out of an installation. Not every one of these consulting firms is ideal for businesses of any given size, though. It's best to ask questions to determine which partner can work ideally for their business.

A matter of experience
What is important for manufacturers to understand about ERP implementations is that they are time- and resource-intensive projects. The amount of investment involved with all stakeholders makes the process very difficult and somewhat risky. A failed implementation can hurt operations and cut into revenue very quickly. As a consequence, companies need to make sure that they're getting the most out of the process, according to ERP Software 360.

The questions that companies should ask prior to agreeing to any implementation should be based on how much experience the partner has had working to install ERP solutions in their particular verticals. Not every trusted partner has experience with a specific vertical. A partner that has done manufacturing installations in the past is unlikely to be helpful for a retailer, and vice versa.

Another question to ask is who is being sent to help with the implementation process. Firms will want to have people who have done prior work in their respective industries, so as to avoid bait-and-switch situations. They also want people who have been with the consulting partner for some time, representing a stable team that can bring their experiences and history together. This way, if problems arise during the integration, they can consult others within their group to figure out ways around it. That can minimize any delays from bottlenecks.

Learning about what methods partners use to implement an ERP system in the can be an important part of the process as well, as Panorama Consulting notes. Asking about that can help determine if a company is capable of going through with the process without a lot of particular resistance from management or employees. In addition, a business should consider what level of change the partner wants to do to complete the implementation, so as to see if their strategy matches up with the company goals.

Learn how to define your ERP strategy by downloading the white paper entitled "ERP in Manufacturing: Defining the ERP Strategy" from the DMS website today.