When talking about the ability to implement an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software solution, using the biggest or the most well-known software supplier doesn’t necessarily mean that your project will be completed within an efficient time frame or be of sufficient quality.
ERP software implementations can fail for several reasons. The failure of ERP projects is usually down to the ERP solution provider, and not the actual software itself.
What should you look for when selecting an installation and support partner for your ERP software project to save you time, money, and resources across the project duration?
We have compiled some things to think about.
1. Size of Teams Involved
With larger suppliers dominating the market share of ERP software implementations, you may believe that having more people involved in the process will help your organisation. However, bigger doesn’t always mean better – with larger suppliers, information gets shared across multiple teams, meaning the finer details are more likely to get missed.
Larger ERP software providers will often employ different teams to work on each stage of implementation across planning, design, development, testing, and deployment. Although this may seem beneficial, it can also lead to extensions in agreed timescales due to the various communication challenges and barriers that arise when working with multiple teams.
2. Customer Retention Rate of the ERP Software Partner
Partners are often judged on their bottom line and not on their ability to retain customers with successful projects and outstanding dedication to service. Some ERP software partners may sell the idea of a perfect project implementation, but this isn’t always the case. Many businesses find that projects fail to materialise, with many of the agreed deliverables often re-scheduled, increased in price or eliminated from the final product altogether. A good customer retention rate will reflect their ability to not only install but also provide an excellent support service.
If you have found yourself in a comparable situation, Syscom runs a successful Microsoft Dynamics Project Recovery service which aims to fix the issues created by your current supplier.
3. Relevant References Within Your Industry
There are many ways in which ERP software can be tailored for different industries to provide a highly bespoke product with all the required functionality and benefits - any partner that claims that an ‘out-of-the-box' ERP solution will have all the features and functionality you need for your industry should be avoided.
The important part in choosing the right ERP software partner for your industry is the level of experience they have. If they cannot prove that they have helped other businesses within your industry, have in-house expertise, or have a detailed understanding of how your industry works, then you may find that the supplier is unable to supply your business the product it requires, or within your desired time frame.
Another indicator to a lack of knowledge or ability could be longer proposed installation times. This may indicate one of two things, one would be that the partner does not have the required knowledge to get the job done in a reasonable timeframe, but it may also mean that you are going to be over charged for the same result. The longer an installation takes means the cost will rise significantly as installation is usually charged per day.
Did you know? The average ERP software installation time is 150 days
4. Are They Listening to Your Needs?
ERP software provides solutions to many problems within your current business operations. Failing to clearly identify your needs as a customer can lead to your system not being implemented in the way you want or needs, and in turn won’t solve the problems it set out to fix.
You may also find that some ERP solution providers will try to base their installation on their own views opposed to those you put forward. This shows that the partner does not understand your business and what it needs to solve the issues you are having, ultimately resulting in a system that does not meet your requirements.
5. Software Demos Are Key
Being able to explain how ERP software can benefit your business is one thing but being able to show how it would work within your business is a whole different ball game. This will be a key indicator as to how well the partner will implement the ERP software to your needs as a business.
ERP software partners should provide demonstrations of how the product will work for your business. It would be wise to see which partner provides the best solution to your problems, if you find that a partner is drawing the focus of the project onto issues they feel are a problem and not the ones you initially said, this may indicate that have either not listened to you or they are simply not able to provide you with the capabilities you need to overcome these issues.
6. Clearly Defined Processes
Poorly defined processes can be a cause for project failure. An ERP software partner should demonstrate a step-by-step process before the project starts to track progress and identify finer details.
This could include:
- Identifying needs
- Design and development stages
- Implementation phases
- Change management
- Support (short-term and/or long-term)
- Managing timeline and budget issues
- Measuring success
A lack of clearly defined goals can lead to an unorganised or rushed project that may not meet your needs, or you may even fail to see a return on investment in the long term.
7. Clear T&C’s
As the saying goes, the devil is in the detail. You may be presented with a contract that has surprisingly low costs (compared to others) but some things to look out for include limited support calls, annual fee increases, regularity of software updates, consultancy rate increases (post implementation) and many other possible limitations to the level of support you will receive from said partner.
It is best to ensure that the partner you choose is not only open about their relevant charges, support obligations and the prices you pay for such services but also one that sets this out from the very beginning.
Choose the right ERP software partner for you, speak to Syscom
Having the right team behind your ERP implementation is vital to its success both initially and moving forward into the future.
At Syscom, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with nothing but the best quality ERP software implementations and support you every step of the way.
We have a wealth of in-house ability which spans across industries including Manufacturing, Distribution, Apparel & Furniture to ensure that no project is undertaken without the right people in the right places.
We are honest and open about the software solutions we provide and are more than capable of showing the effectiveness of our solutions to your business. If you would like further information about our ERP solutions and the support we provide, please contact us today on 01384 400 600, email email@example.com or submit a contact form below.