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In many cases, it makes sense to cut out the middleman. When trying to get information or services, going straight to the source sometimes proves the most cost-effective and efficient method. Businesses, in what may seem like a smart approach, will often go straight to a software vendor for their implementation projects and maintenance rather than go through a consultant. But for all rules, there’s an exception.
Clients who work directly with an ERP or CRM vendor won’t receive comprehensive guidance and industry prowess. Maybe that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but without proper consideration of your business's distinct needs or timely support, your software project will go astray. Vendors are more focused on developing and selling their solutions than on providing deep, comprehensive project management and services.
Premier consultants, on the other hand, prioritize the client in everything they do. One of the most important steps a company can take to avoid software failure is to partner up with a CRM or ERP consultant. We’ll explain why a software consulting firm isn’t a mere middleman—it’s the key to success.
Sure, the best vendors construct their ERP and CRM software to meet the needs of specific industries. Epicor ERP, for example, is built with an array of manufacturers and distributors in mind, such as fastener distributors and automotive manufacturers. Supply chain management, financial management and other core ERP modules are encompassed in a single system to streamline manufacturing and distribution processes.
However, when it comes to drilling into specific tools and workflows for each business, vendors can only do so much. Some businesses are under the impression that enterprise software vendors offer superior support and must have a high level of training. Vendors might be a good place to go to for quick fixes, like a small coding question or a little bug in the system, but anything more complex requires experts in your industry.
Consultants are with you from the beginning of the software project, meaning they have full knowledge of how your business works. Keep in mind that VARs (value-added resellers) aren’t allowed to represent a vendor’s brand without earning certification. In other words, Epicor or Salesforce partners are required to have extensive, proven expertise in working with particular systems offered by the vendor.
Consultants don't just know software. They have experience across various industries that they bring to each project. That means that consultants will know not only ERP best practices but also specific challenges of A&D manufacturing or multilevel supply chain management. Knowing a piece of software inside and out is great, but only if that insight is leveraged to enhance specific business processes. That’s what distinguishes consulting firms and VARs from vendors.
Don’t judge a consulting firm by its size. Businesses tend to pass up on consulting firms because of an assumption that they lack enough personnel to handle errors and provide maintenance. They view vendors as larger entities with more resources and experts. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead, most vendors have far too many customers to give each one full support. Ultimately, a software provider is committed to building and selling robust systems. Though some support is available after the sale is completed, it won’t be as efficient and as comprehensive as you may require.
For VARs, their bread and butter is end-to-end consulting. Business process modeling, vendor selection, implementation, customized solutions, continued maintenance and upgrades—the top software consultants offer all these services and more. Plus, rather than waste time waiting for a vendor support specialist on a busy call line, you can receive quick, face-to-face assistance from your consultant. The best consulting firms offer risk mitigation, change management, software expertise and industry knowledge to make ERP and CRM projects a success.
Don’t look at software consulting firms as middlemen. Consultants provide the industry expertise, technical prowess and commitment to comprehensive service that every manufacturing or distribution business needs to get the most ROI from their software project.
Datix goes above and beyond when it comes to enterprise software consulting. We’re an Epicor Gold Partner, meaning we are among the elite in Epicor ERP consulting. We are also certified partners of Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365, giving us a unique perspective on two of the top CRM vendors. Additionally, to empower our clients to get the most from their software, we created Unity. Unity is our integration platform that connects Epicor with a myriad of software, such as CRM and HubSpot. By connecting front and back-office processes through a dynamic integration, each client can achieve a fully transparent and cohesive enterprise.
Find out why consulting firms are a must for enterprise software success. Reach out to Datix today!