When looking for a new ERP system for a business, one most likely have a list of criteria the software needs to meet before making the purchase and deploying it throughout an operation. It’s important to know as much as possible about the software, but it may be even more important to know about the team that will be helping implement it.
When a project fails to stay on budget or deliver the results promised in the sales process, it’s generally because of a flawed implementation rather than deficiencies in the software itself. As one evaluates potential ERP vendors, ERP solutions provider Abas USA recommends looking for these qualities in project implementation teams:
Domain and Process Expertise—You’re not just looking for new software, you’re trying to find a way to improve your end-to-end processes to achieve greater operational efficiency and reduce costs. That’s why a vendor shouldn’t only have mastery over its software—the real value add comes when the vendor can help update processes to include best practices and improve a business as a whole.
To that end, look for a vendor-side team that will come with industry experts who can speak to a customer on their terms and deeply understand their challenges and goals. They should be able to install the software, tweak their processes to match it and educate their users on best practices—all with the goal of helping them get the greatest possible ROI out of their new system.
Adaptability and Creativity—Every implementation is different, so the team should be able to adjust its own practices to meet their specific needs. Every new project will have its own contours, with different market conditions, existing business practices and even personalities giving shape to the task ahead.
A vendor should have the experience to think outside the box and alter its methodology to fit each implementation. And when unexpected issues arise, they should be able to adapt on the fly and accommodate changes without falling off schedule or budget.
Open Communication—A new ERP system is a significant investment. Not only are they paying for the software and implementation, they are completely overhauling their entire business’ way of doing things. This requires a major commitment of time, money and resources, which means they deserve accountability and transparency through every step of the implementation.
A vendor should have predetermined milestones that mark progress through-out the project. But beyond that, it should hold frequent meetings with the internal project team to keep them abreast of any developments during the implementation—good or bad, and there should be an expectation of transparency on both sides.
A Proven Methodology—An experienced vendor isn’t going to “just wing it” at any point during the process. Look for a vendor that can demonstrate a track record of success with its implementation methodology. The method by which it deploys your ERP system should provide the team with structure and order while still giving them the means to alter the strategy to handle unexpected setbacks or accommodate any unique requirements a customer may have. With a strong blueprint, they won’t be subject to any surprises as you deploy your system.
It’s not enough to find the best available ERP software. It’s critical that customers also look for the right people to help them maximize their ROI. Finding a good ERP implementation team is all about looking for a vendor that has industry and software expertise and strong project management skills in equal measure.