You’ve done some research and you’re ready to leverage more efficient technology to grow your business, eliminate inefficiencies, and reach your fullest potential.  You know that ERP is a necessary tool that will empower your business decisions.  You’re ready to begin your ERP journey, but now what?  Choosing the right ERP partner is the most critical decision you will make after choosing to implement, even more important than choosing which solution to utilize.  Ideally, your partner will provide consulting services to help you determine which solution is the best fit for your business, offer customization and implementation services to get your new solution set up, end-user training to ensure that your team can properly utilize the new system, and give you continued support for any unforeseen issues or upgrades needed in the future.  Ultimately, partner selection can make or break any ERP project, but can also have lasting effects for the future.

Software Selection Consulting

Implementing an ERP solution is a significant investment.  The process of choosing which solution to implement shouldn’t be taken lightly.  The right ERP partner will be able to lend their experience and knowledge to help your business choose the best possible solution with the most cost-effective customizations and add-ons as possible.

In order for your partner to make an informed decision that you can trust, they should take the time for a thorough discovery meeting with your team.  Ideally, the partner would also have an understanding of your industry.  While every business operates slightly differently, knowing the industry can provide valuable insight into business needs and best practices.

Customization & Implementation

Very rarely do ERP packages fit perfectly “out-of-the-box.” Think of your solution as a finely tailored suit.  First, you choose the suit, then you have it tailored so it fits perfectly.  You’ll need a partner who can make those finishing touches whether it be customized reports, customized fields, or API integrations.  Luckily, contrary to some common misconceptions, modern ERP is easily configured to individual needs, often inexpensively without touching source code, and RESTful API connections are allowing businesses to embrace the multi-cloud world.

During the implementation process, it’s important that you have a partner who adopts a collaborative mindset rather than making important decisions for your business on their own.  They should provide a clear project timeline with detailed activities and milestones so that you are kept abreast of progress throughout the process.

End-User Training

A good partner will ensure that administrators and end-users are all trained according to their role in the new system.  They will be expected to meet clear levels of mastery in order to ensure that the new system is being utilized correctly, in turn, saving your organization valuable time and money. Beyond traditional training, the ideal partner will assist your team in change management and employee engagement strategies so that everyone is willing to overcome their fear of change and embrace new technology.  During the training process, your team should gain confidence in the solution and your partner, so that by the time you go-live with your new solution, everyone is as comfortable as possible.

Continued Support

You need to choose a partner who will be there for you for years to come.  They must be reliable and responsive so that when the worst happens and your system goes down, you can rely on them to get you back up and running with minimal downtime.  Your partner is your lifeline in these dire situations and you must have confidence in their ability to resolve any potential issues in a timely manner. You have hopes and goals for your business and your partner will be able to set you up to achieve them.  Remember, support in year 5 is just as important as support on day 1.  Because of that, your partner should express interest in building lasting relationships with you and your team.

ACC always strives to be the partner described above.  We have over 20 years of experience offering consulting servicesrobust ERP solutionstraining, and support services.  We aim to provide solutions today and a trusted partner for tomorrow.  Contact us today and we’ll start you on your very own ERP journey!

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