Most implementations cost more than expected, take more time than expected and fail to deliver the business benefits expected (source: 2015 ERP Report). Most organizations are not equipped to deal with such complexities and do much better if they have some help. This is where ERP consultants can help.
Here are five burdens that effective ERP consultants can take off your back to alleviate stress and ultimately make both you and your organization more successful:
- Protecting your own interests – not that of your ERP vendor. A good deal of money is at stake when an organization makes an investment in new ERP software. It can be invaluable to have an independent ERP consultant because their main concern is your organization’s best interests—no one else’s. In other words, your consultant should have nothing to gain by you choosing one ERP vendor over another or by nudging you to purchase more modules or licenses than you may need. Their sole purpose is to ensure that your interests are represented during the entire selection and implementation cycle.
- Addressing the people and process side of your ERP implementation. Both our research and experience clearly show that it’s people and processes – not technology – that lead to enterprise success or failure. Though most ERP consultants and their implementing organizations don’t know how to address anything other than the technical components of their implementation, knowledgeable consultants can help ensure that you and your team are addressing these more critical aspects of your project. Your ERP consultant should be just as much of an expert in business processes and organizational change management as they are in the software, if not more.
- Filling the void of a lack of ERP expertise. Most organizations only implement new ERP systems every 10 or 20 years (thankfully), so it’s completely understandable that most internal teams don’t have the experience to be successful or effective on their own. The best and most successful ERP consultants can help fill the void of ERP expertise to ensure that your team is able to focus on what they do best.
- Charting a path to a successful ERP implementation. The best ERP consultants don’t operate on hypothetical implementations. Instead, they understand the realities of what is required to make your project successful. In other words, they don’t sugar coat what will be required and are able to create a realistic roadmap and plan to ensure that your ERP selection and implementation project is successful. Your consultant can mean the difference between a total success or a total failure, so you must vet their implementation planning capabilities prior to hiring them and make sure they are not proposing an unrealistic or overly aggressive timeline.
- Determining how to realize a strong ROI on your ERP software investment. Ultimately, your ERP consultant should help make your implementation more cost effective than if you hadn’t hired them. In addition, they should ensure that you realize more business benefits than you would have realized on your own. Though it may appear as if hiring an independent ERP consultant is an added cost to your implementation, it will actually cost you less and deliver you with more business benefits in the long-term. For example, negotiating with your ERP vendor and ensuring the people and process side of your implementation are adequately addressed will often be enough to justify and pay for their costs multiple times over.
Successful ERP implementations require much more than just hiring a successful ERP consultant, but it is certainly a very important step in the process.
Most organizations understand that the key to ERP success is to leverage a knowledgeable third party (aka an independent ERP consultant). Learn more by downloading our white paper, Guide to Choosing an ERP Implementation Partner.