An important part of ERP selection is making sure you choose the right ERP partner. Having the right partner can make your ERP implementation much simpler. The importance of finding the right ERP partner cannot be overstated. In a 2016 ERP implementation study, 46% of respondents indicated discontent with their implementation partner. The best way to prevent this is to spend some time researching potential partners.
Why You Need the Right Partner
A large part of the reason that people experience ERP implementation success (or failure) is due to their choice of partner. There are many factors to consider when you choose the right ERP partner. The two core facts to determine is does the partner have the ability to do the work correctly and will working with them be a positive experience? Past performance is a predictor of future behavior.
When you have narrowed down the list of potential ERP partners to two or three, you can request references. Keep in mind that a true reference is different from a testimonial or success story. A reference is a live conversation with a current or previous customer. It’s important to be able to ask questions.
What to Ask
First and foremost, be cognizant of the other person’s time. With your ERP evaluation team, create a list of questions. Order the questions from most to least important, this ensures you won’t miss key talking points if the conversation ends earlier than planned. Industry professionals point out not to forget confirming that the reference has worked with your potential ERP partner and is using the system you are evaluating.
Common ERP Reference Questions
- How long did the implementation project take from beginning to end?
- Which of the vendor employees were directly involved? How were they to work with?
- Did your ERP partner stay within the budget?
- Was the project completed in the designated time frame? Why or why not?
- Are you satisfied with the software and services?
- Have you had any problems or frustrations with the software?
- How did you feel working with the ERP partner?
- What has been your experience with product support?
- If you had to do it all over again, would you make the same decision?
There are a million other questions you could ask, but the questions above will touch on all of the important points. The answers should give you a good idea of what you can expect from the provider and software. Keep these tips in mind when trying to choose the right ERP partner.