Organizational Strategic Planning Solutions, Choosing a Partner - MCA Connect

Choosing the Right Partner

Choosing the right manufacturing ERP partner can be the difference between a smooth, functional process and a downright tedious process. We have put together a handy checklist for selecting an ERP partner for you to peruse and help make a selection. A few questions to consider:

  1. Who will be working on your project?
  2. Besides implementation, what other services does this partner offer?
  3. Does this partner have a good reputation?
  4. Will this partner proactively give guidance and strategy recommendations?
  5. Does their culture align with your company culture?
  6. Do we understand all the time and resources required?
  7. Can we trust this partner?

Trust is a critical element of any professional services business, and software consulting is no exception. Mistakes happen. Personalities sometimes collide. But by carefully selecting the right ERP partner for your project before it begins, you can maximize your chances of a successful software implementation.

Typical Red Flags & Qualifications

Here are a few red flags we have experienced with users coming over to us for implementation in the past:

Not Sticking to a Strict Implementation Schedule

Timeliness and accuracy are two items which should not be discounted in choosing an ERP partner. If you are seeing reviews discussing a lack of timeliness, the first red flag is raised. The importance placed on timeliness lies in developing a road map and sticking to it. If your ERP provider is unable to meet specific deadlines, they are probably missing a few details through the process as well. This oversight can cause considerable issues in the future as you look to upgrade or customize your ERP implementation further.

Lacking Communication

If through the discovery process, your potential provider goes dark for periods of time, this is a massive red flag. If an ERP provider doesn’t give you the time you deserve to implement your project, they may be stretched too thin. You need a team devoted to your implementation so as needs arise, they can quickly be fixed.

Software Restrictions

Some ERP providers are still implementing legacy systems which do not grow well with technology (will have to double check this). Finding a partner who implements the latest in ERP technology can ensure your systems remain lean and customizable moving into the future. Take the necessary time to understand and educate your team on the potential your software provides for improvement to efficiency and workflow.

Expertise

Choosing a provider with expertise not only in ERP systems overall, but expertise in your specific industry can ensure the proper modules are setup and the functionality works properly. Working through a manufacturing ERP implementation with someone who has implemented manufacturing ERP systems in the past helps to solve problems ahead of time instead of exploring them and patching things down the road.

Demos

Most, if not all, ERP providers should be able to provide you with a demonstration of their software and the functionality. If a company is unable to produce a customized demo tailored to your business, this is a huge red flag from the start. In the demos you should watch for ease of use, specific functionality, potential functionality, and integration with specific systems. If certain integrations are “coming soon” or something similar, this is another red flag.

Readiness

An accurate readiness audit sets your manufacturing ERP implementation up for success from the start. Having an expert audit the readiness of your systems allows you to make certain changes and develop fixes before beginning an ERP implementation. We have seen a few projects in the past where an ERP system was implemented for a company whose processes were not ready to be developed and reported on in the ERP system. This causes an even bigger headache than you had before deciding to upgrade or implement your ERP system.