Select Your Ideal ERP Consulting Firm
Large, costly ERP failures make for attention-grabbing headlines, but project misfires can often be prevented by working with an independent consulting firm. Experienced consultants mitigate risk and ensure software projects fit neatly into each client’s unique business processes. However, it’s imperative for manufacturers and distributors to select the appropriate partner to achieve ERP success. Any firm can sell software, but the real test comes in executing the software in line with your specific needs, budget and timeline. We’ve compiled five of the most important considerations for selecting the right ERP consultant.
Criteria for ERP Consultant Selection
Your software consulting firm should demonstrate expertise in the following areas:
1. Business Processes
Business processes define your company. Therefore, when a value-added reseller fails to provide relevant use cases or show past examples of how their solutions have improved processes similar to your own, those are sure signs that the firm isn’t a match for your project. Only meet with consultants who have a reputation for working within your industry—these are the experts who will understand the nuances of your business processes and how to align ERP to your operations.
2. Implementation Best Practices
Does the firm consistently release new features and solutions that optimize visibility and productivity? Do they tout a detailed, streamlined implementation methodology that incorporates software best practices? Are they certified partners of leading ERP vendors? Do their employees demonstrate experience in software, IT or your industry? Software solutions and best practices constantly change, so you need to dig through the reseller’s website, employee LinkedIn profiles, press releases and customer reviews to ensure they have a proven methodology and pursue continuous improvement. Most importantly, meet with consultants in person to ask them about their solutions and services.
3. Systems Integration
Ideally, your software consultant won’t just have expertise in ERP. The key to maximizing ROI and efficiency in the modern age is to integrate front and back-office systems. If you’re looking to connect CRM, eCommerce or another front-end instance with your ERP immediately or years down the road, it’s important to find a firm with integration experience. Rather than seek multiple consultants for each project, you should find a one-stop shop to serve as your partner for long-term software success. As a single touchpoint with a full understanding of your business needs, this firm can help you execute projects quickly and accurately.
4. Software Customization
Truthfully, no ERP solution is one-size-fits-all. Most clients require custom fields and build-outs to support their unique processes. However, this work adds risk to your project. That’s why businesses should rely on an experienced consultant to take care of customizations. Make sure your selected firm includes coding gurus who can execute these developments without delaying projects or jeopardizing your investment.
5. Comprehensive Support
One of the reasons why it’s advisable to work with a value-added reseller rather than directly with a vendor is to receive tailored, comprehensive support. During a project, your consultant should be available every step of the way, from software selection to final deployment. They should communicate with clients clearly and often to ensure all needs are being met. Additionally, they must think beyond technical requirements to help businesses with training and change management. But consultants shouldn’t take their leave after go-live. Make sure they provide on-going support, maintenance and upgrades to maximize the lifetime of your solution. Ask for references to learn from previous clients if they offer high-level support.
An ERP consulting firm should go above and beyond software implementations to serve as your partner in full-scale business improvements. That’s why it’s critical to take the selection process seriously. At Datix, we’ve swooped in to save several projects led astray by undedicated consultants or lacking expert support altogether. Team up with consultants at the beginning to set yourself up for ERP success.
As an Epicor Platinum Partner, Datix is a leading ERP consulting firm. For over 20 years, we’ve provided premier software solutions and services for discrete manufacturers and value-added distributors. We also specialize in CRM, eCommerce, Marketing Automation and integrations, making us a one-stop shop for all your software needs. Our developers are continuously making improvements to our Unity integration solution to ensure you have optimal visibility and a seamless connection between your business applications.
Don’t settle for less than the best—team up with the ERP experts at Datix. Get in touch with us today!