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Many years prior to becoming an ERP consultant, I was a high school football player on a team with average talent. What wasn’t average was our record, which involved a trip to the Colorado 5A State Championship, nor the airtight bond throughout the brotherhood, a microcosm of the program’s culture. We were able to excel way beyond our God-given talents because of the underlying respect that we all had for each other. It was on this basis we were able to build – and build we did.

Why does respect matter? Can’t you just play the game? Sure you can, and what you’ll end up with is a team similar to many N.F.L. teams: individuals who care more about themselves than the bigger picture of shared success. There are a myriad of selfish reasons why an individual would choose not to be a “team player,” and the inevitable result is a weaker, less competitive team that ultimately achieves less.

I was lucky enough to have this experience early in my life. I saw how a group of individuals performing drastically different tasks can come together with a common goal in mind and truly achieve great things through the idea of mutual respect and shared responsibility. I learned that teammates shown respect are much more likely to be honest and accountable to you and everyone on the team.

I’ve taken this life lesson with me throughout the years and it’s a lesson that is directly applicable to ERP consulting. One teammate that I’ve found is incredibly important in an ERP software selection or implementation is the ERP vendor’s value-added reseller (VAR). The VAR is separate than the ERP vendor and while some of its goals are likely aligned with the vendor, it also have its own self-interests independent of the vendor. Selecting the right VAR is an absolutely critical step in ensuring ERP success.

But here comes the torpedo of truth: many VAR’s are, simply put, bad teammates. They haven’t bought into the idea of shared success, and they are willing to undermine the success and outcome if it means more power and money. It’s incredibly important that any company that is about to open up the doors and let a stranger perform surgery on its central nervous system ensures that the selected VAR buys into the idea of mutual respect, honesty and shared success.

At Panorama, clients routinely ask us to come in after a failed ERP implementation to perform a project recovery. Time and time again we see that the VAR had a noticeable role in creating the drivers for the ERP failure. Given the strategic importance of selecting the right business partner, we encourage clients to go through a VAR selection process similar to that of software selection. In our system integrator partner analysis, which is a piece of our PERFECT Fit ERP Selection Methodology, we help determine the best VAR for a company to partner with in order to achieve the most effective implementation possible. At Panorama, we realize that every teammate in your ERP project must be a team player for your company to achieve success.

Written by Jason Henritze-Hoye, Senior ERP Consultant at Panorama Consulting Solutions.