Next in the four part series, after,understanding astrategic point of view on identifying the key reasons why an organization should invest in an ERP solution; and choosing the right ERP solution, we will look into selecting the right ERP vendor orimplementation partner.
While, it is difficult to choose the right ERP vendor, because each organization's enterprise application needs are always unique, there are a few tricks to finding an implementation partner, that best fulfills the needs for a successful application implementation.
The Right Technical Expertise
Once the ERP solution has been chosen, you would find numerous companies who would be willing to fulfill the need for an implementation partner. However, the key areas of evaluation include, if the company has the right resources, who are accredited, have expertise, signified by certifications and/or awards, have the right development expertise required for troubleshooting, and are accredited in the market. There is no harm in moving forward with a small or new implementation partner, as long as they have the tools and resources to fulfill the needs of the implementation.
The Right Industry and Functional Expertise
In most cases, technical expertise can still be built; however, functional expertise and industry experience are only available with a company, if senior resources are available in such a company. It is always recommended to have conversations with such resources from a potential ERP Vendor and evaluate their expertise. This is only important because during the implementation, value addition from the right resources, can help give a significant boost in the right direction.
The Right Cultural Fit
During most implementations, problems arise when the vendor resources and the customer cannot see eye to eye. This can be in various ways; the vendor imposing their implementation and business methodologies instead of the customer's business processes; the vendor not undertstanding the needs for busienss data or its usage, and not being able to fit this data into the application, etc. These are generally the top problems that arise due to which implementations become tricky. To mitigate this, it is key to have demonstrations of the chosen application with key data and processes of the organization.
The Right Project Management Expertise
The trickiest part of finding the right ERP vendor, is finding one that has key project management, business change and reengineering expertise. In a lot of cases, ERP vendors lack expertise and experience in a sound project management strategy. It is key to evaluate the organization on their successful projects, or at least their framework on how they would manage a particular project towards a successful closure.