According to ERP statistics cited by the GitnuxBlog information platform, nearly half of ERP implementations fail, with the average cost of an unsuccessful implementation being around $1.2 million. Meanwhile, 64% of ERP projects exceed their budgets and at least 40% suffer from missed deadlines.
Although there are many factors responsible for unsuccessful ERP implementations, working with an ERP implementation partner can significantly increase the chances of meeting project goals. Read this article to learn how to choose your professional ERP implementation assistant.
What Can an ERP Implementation Partner Do for Your Company?
First and foremost, it is necessary to understand the scope of tasks that an ERP implementation service provider can perform for your company. It is undeniable that the offerings of different ERP implementation partners vary widely, but you need to have a clear understanding of the kind of help you can get from such a collaboration.
Defining the requirements and goals of an ERP implementation is a critical phase that determines the success of the project to a great degree. An ERP implementation partner helps companies thoroughly analyze these requirements and match them with the technical capabilities of an ERP software product, selecting and implementing optimal system configurations.
Assisting data preparation and migration
The quality of the data used by your ERP system is one of the most important factors affecting its performance. No ERP system, no matter how advanced and well-optimized, can support your workflows and business operations if it is fed with outdated, redundant, or duplicate data.
ERP implementation specialists can help you extract, cleanse and migrate your data to your new software.
Customizing software and integrating it with other products
Although advanced ERP systems such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management (FSCM) are particularly powerful, feature-rich, and optimized for successful deployment in organizations of varying sizes and profiles, there may be a need for customization. Some ERP implementation partners can also take care of this task.
Proper employee training is essential for a smooth rollout of the new software product, and your implementation partner can help employees transition to the new solution.
Testing implemented software
Introducing a newly implemented software without prior testing can be quite risky and unnecessarily jeopardize your business processes. Also, with large ERP systems like FSCM, it may be necessary to use an automated testing tool because you will need to validate your software after each change. Some ERP implementation partners can help you with this task.
Supporting after implementation
An implementation service provider should help you during the process of transition to the new system and review its performance to ensure it meets your organization’s needs. An implementation specialist can also monitor the performance of your system once it is in place to identify areas that need to be optimized.
Popular Myths about ERP Implementation Service Providers
Another essential point to consider before choosing an implementation partner is the widespread misconceptions about such specialists. Find out which popular beliefs are myths so that you can develop realistic expectations about your partnership.
Some people believe that there are no particular differences between ERP implementation partners and that they can all achieve the same results, while others assume that the more expensive the services, the better the results. Neither of these approaches is accurate. The range of support offered by these specialists and their expertise is not always the same as that described above and varies from one implementation service provider to another, while price should never be considered without a thorough analysis of value.
In addition, unrealistic expectations of implementation partners are also common. Some think that the success of the implementation project is solely the responsibility of the partner, even though many other factors can influence the project. Others assume that these specialists can only help with the technical aspects of the implementation or are only useful in the early stages of the project. In addition, some companies work with implementation partners and expect them to implement the ERP system in an unrealistically short time.
Key Criteria for Choosing an ERP Implementation Partner
The selection of an ERP implementation service provider should be based on multiple criteria and should not focus solely on two aspects such as financial cost and client references. Although both are critical, you should carefully review your potential implementation partner’s offering, taking into account the following aspects.
The more experience your potential implementation partner has, the better. Note that some companies, like XPLUS, have specialized in ERP implementations for over two decades and have evolved their services along with the evolution of ERP software.
2. Technical proficiency
Make sure that the implementation partner has sufficient technical knowledge that is not limited to the ERP system itself, but also covers other important topics such as databases, integration, or testing.
3. Implementation methodology
Choose a partner with a structured and clearly defined approach to implementation.
4. Change management
Your specialist should support your employees with the necessary training to promote the implementation of the software.
5. Future support
To ensure your organization’s comfort, you should work with a professional who can provide future support and maintenance and help you scale or customize your solution as needed.
The Bottom Line
An ERP implementation partner can help you streamline the digital transformation in your company, but it is necessary to have realistic expectations of the collaboration and be aware that the service provider’s expertise will not be able to solve all possible problems related to the implementation.
In the meantime, the choice of your partner should be the result of a thorough analysis of their expertise and services, and should not be based solely on price.