Getting attuned: what are the qualities of an ideal ERP partner?
First things first: when selecting a dance partner, you need to be sure they’ve got the moves. Same goes for your ERP partner: you’ll want their technical skills to be up to standard, and ideally for them to have experience in your line of business as well.
Pliés and arabesques are a nice bonus, but these are the moves they really need to nail:
- knowledge of your area of business
- product and IT architecture knowledge
- experience with your type of implementation
- flexibility and hunger
- financial stability
What should you ask your prospective ERP partner to make sure they have the right moves? We've got you covered with this handy-dandy checklist.
Besides these basics, you’ll also want some insight into their character: how does your prospective ERP partner handle challenges? When pitching to you, it's all sunshine and rainbows – but what happens when things get complicated? You’ll need a partner you can count on. A team that can get back into the groove after missing a beat.
But how can you know what they’ll be like before they’ve even started on your ERP project? Simple: you can’t. But others do know! Ask for references and actually give them a call. Other companies have first-hand experience with your prospective partner. They can help you determine whether or not you’re in sync.
Is having all the right moves enough?
You want a partner who knows how to dance. But is that all it takes? An ERP project is a commitment. Of time and resources, but mainly of people. You can’t boil down chemistry to an Excel list of demands – you need to get out there and see who your team prefers to dance with. After all, they’ll be the ones working closely together for months. If they like each other, your ERP will probably be better than if the job is just rushed through, right? So, next time you’re looking for an ERP partner, don’t just ask them for their qualifications, invite them and the team out for a drink as well.
Getting the consultants and the in-house team together is the fastest way to see if they’ll be able to work together. People business can’t be captured in percentages and endless questionnaires. Once you’ve compiled your ERP partner shortlist: get to know them.
Take them out on the floor for a spin
So, you’ve compiled your shortlist and had some first ‘team dates’. What’s next? Time to get down to business! Drinking together and dancing – a.k.a. working – together are two very different things. Time for your potential partner to bring the moves!
One option is a (problem solving) workshop. Not convinced after the initial Q&A? Give your prospective ERP partner a call, tell them what topics worry you and see if they’re willing to show you how their solution can respond to your specific challenges. This will illustrate both their problem-solving skills and their expertise in your specific sector.
Solution assessments are also an excellent way to have a first test run together on the ERP dancefloor. You can dive right in and tackle the entire ERP project, determining scope and roadmap in line with the strategy and business objectives. The advantage? By getting stuck in, your partner will have a much more detailed and nuanced perspective on your ERP plans. Giving them real insight in your organization, beyond a list of requirements, allows them to set up a more realistic scope and budget. Overall, companies that take the time to assess their project up front with their prospective partner end up with the best and most cost-efficient solution.
Book your Solution Assessment with Cegeka: Request your ERP Solution Assessment
What comes first: product or partner?
The ERP variant of the chicken and egg riddle, product and partner are difficult to separate. The combination of the right technology, best suited partner and strong knowledge of your own company will determine your ERP success.
Typically, most organizations will prefer one ERP product over another – because of previous investments and experiences, or because of specific requirements – and select a partner with expertise in that product. After all, there’s a difference between a tango and a waltz, right?
May we have this dance?
Cegeka and Microsoft Dynamics 365: the best ERP partners you could ask for! Get in touch and let’s choreograph your ERP track together.
Two to Tango: there’s no I in ERP
To successfully start and finish an ERP project, it takes Two to Tango. Join us and our customers as we zoom in on all things ERP – from the perspective of true partnership. Featured in this first season: the full choreography of setting up your ERP strategy.