ERP systems are much more than just another application. The ERP system facilitates and directs the processes that are essential to conducting business and impacts the lives of the people who use it. With so much at stake, how do you find a trusted implementation partner to guide your team through a successful ERP implementation?

An organization confronted with this question might use Google to search for an ERP consulting firm, which would yield a long list of advisors trying to sell their services. With such an array of choices, you need to define specific criteria for evaluating a potential ERP consultant. Here are some questions you should ask:

  • What problems are driving my company to consider a new ERP system?
  • Do we have an executive sponsor for this ERP project?
  • Do we have a clear vision for the benefits that the ERP system will provide?

As the ERP landscape has evolved, the type of resources needed to select and implement ERP systems has also changed. Instead of using purely technical consultants who are experts in a specific technology or vendor, organizations can now engage ERP consultants who have expertise in organizational change management, business process reengineering and helping organizations achieve their goals. An ERP implementation is a business project, not a technology project.

Your ERP consultant should be able to work with your organization to gather business requirements, map processes and create efficiencies. They should also help your organization work through the issues that arise with new technology and a change in business processes.

ERP implementations consist of a complex web of non-technical challenges that can make or break your project. Following are six areas where your organization should partner with a trusted third-party:

  • Selecting an ERP system that supports the corporate vision
  • Creating a business case to help justify the implementation of a new ERP system
  • Identifying ways to streamline workflows through business process reengineering
  • Engaging end-users in requirements gathering and obtaining end-user buy-in to the project as a whole
  • Testing the ERP system before implementation to avoid post go-live issues
  • Training employees to use the new system and support system improvements

Bottom line: know your ERP consultant. While technical experts are required to implement an ERP system, business needs should drive your project. Ensure that your trusted implementation partner understands your business and has a proven track record of successful ERP implementations.

Learn more by downloading our white paper, Guide to Choosing an ERP Implementation Partner.

Written by Ed Spotts, Senior ERP Consultant at Panorama Consulting Solutions.

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