Selecting an ERP Consultant: Company Background

Part 3 of 10

If you’ve made up your mind to move on with a new ERP consultant they one of the first things you need to evaluate is the background of any potential new ERP consulting company. This should include a lot of different factors including some basic demographics.

Does the company have offices or staff near your office locations? This may not be quite as critical today as it was a decade ago with remote technologies for support and consulting but nothing can replace face-to-face meetings and complex projects go much smoother when you can sit down with your ERP consultant periodically to review your needs in detail. Don’t underestimate the value of having resources available right down the street but likewise, don’t ignore a company just because they don’t have a presence in your immediate geography.

We support customers all over the United States and globally despite having a headquarters in northeast Ohio. Companies choose us because of our deep expertise in the products we represent, our development and integration capabilities, and our particular industry focus.

Get to know potential ERP consultants. Find out how they were founded, who the principals are, how large they are, and why they do what they do. Often times you’ll find out that their purpose or vision doesn’t match yours or you might find some surprising facts about them that help you make the decision to switch.

For example, our CEO used to race mountain bikes and motorcycles. He connects well with people that share his same passion. While this alone has no impact on how we deliver services to our customers. It certainly helps when the management team at our customers share the same interests. Some of our best customers are involved in these industries or share in our CEO’s interests. The same holds true for our consultants as personal relationships are formed when our customers can relate to our consultants experiences and personal life. ERP can be very boring. It helps to connect with the ERP consultant or ERP consulting organization on a deeper level.

Another thing to consider is the size of company that potential ERP consultants support currently. Some ERP consultants struggle to manage larger accounts with multiple locations or more sophisticated needs while others have internal procedures that make it cost-prohibitive to work with smaller organizations. Ask them to identify their smallest and largest clients and talk to them about their experiences working with the ERP consultant.

Company background is crucial to evaluating potential ERP consultants because it forces you to consider everything including how long they’ve been in business, long-standing business partnerships, historic industry focus, and other things that will factor into your decision to switch. You may feel more comfortable with an ERP consultant that has worked in your industry longer and can speak your language or you may want to try working with a company that doesn’t have as much baggage and is just starting out new as they may be more attentive to your needs.

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