Companies need a new ERP partner for many reasons. Does one of these resonate with you?
Are you looking for a new ERP partner because you’ve grown and the spreadsheets are no longer cutting it for you? Or maybe your first ERP system can’t keep up with the needs of your evolving business. Or perhaps your system is reaching end of life or is beginning to cost too much in upgrades and you recognise it’s sensible to check out what alternatives are available in the ERP market.
Whatever the reason, if you are looking for new ERP software and a new ERP partner to implement it, you need to know what to look for. Here’s our guide to help you in your search for new ERP software.
ERP Partner Stability and Reputation
There are some considerations that are fundamental to your assessment of an ERP partner. You will want to know some key details, like how long they have been in business, what their financial standing is like, whether they are growing or are in decline. You want to be sure that they can scale with your business as it grows, accommodating your future expansion plans.
Check their credibility and reputation with an online search and verify any certifications. Find out how many staff they have, how long they have been there and what their relevant qualifications are. This is simple to do on LinkedIn and gives an indication of the strength of employee quality, motivation and morale.
Assessing potential ERP partners on their stability and reputation ensures that they will be a reliable long-term partner for your business.
Expertise and Experience
Look for an ERP partner with a proven track record of successful ERP implementations and deep expertise in your industry. Check that they have worked with companies like yours and see if they substantiate this on their website and in their promotional literature.
Ask how many customers they have and request case studies and testimonials. Ask to meet some of their clients who are in your industry and follow up on these references.
Software, Customisation and Flexibility
Find out what software systems the ERP partner provides and which technologies they promote in general.
Choose an ERP partner that can configure and tailor ERP software to your precise business needs and has the flexibility to adapt in future to any changing requirements you might have.
Ensure that the ERP software can integrate with your existing systems and technology infrastructure.
All these considerations ensure that you find an ERP whose software options and capabilities are aligned with what you are looking for.
Training and Support
Consider the level of training and support that the ERP partner provides to ensure that your staff will be able to use the software effectively and efficiently.
Find out what maintenance and support options they offer. Will you require 24/7 assistance? Do you want on-site help or is it enough to have access to a remote support desk with a ticketing system? What are their average response times and how do clients rate them on their support levels?
It’s important to find out how training is provided, what it includes and where it takes place. Do you require on-site training, or are you be happy for your staff to be trained at their offices?
Working Practices and Methodologies
Determine how the ERP partner manages projects. Which software project planning and implementation methodologies and processes do they use and do they fit in with your needs and your own business working practices?
A critical point in an ERP implementation is the data migration. Find out how they manage this aspect and what services they provide for assistance with cleaning, formatting and maintain the integrity of your data before migrating it to a new ERP system.
Partnerships and Ecosystem
Evaluate the ERP provider’s partnerships and other companies in their ecosystem. A strong network of complementary technology partners can enhance the ERP software’s functionality and offer additional value to your business.
Look for ERP providers that partner with companies that offer products or services that can integrate well with the ERP system and which will unlock capabilities of your software or enhance them further. These might help with streamlining processes or tools to extend business intelligence.
A strong partnership network can also provide access to resources and expertise that can further support your business beyond the ERP implementation phase.
Pricing and Value for Money
Evaluate the cost of the ERP software and the services provided by the ERP partner to ensure that it aligns with your budget and provides value for money.
This is often difficult to do upfront because a provider can’t always give accurate costings without a full feature requirements list or details of the number of users and customisation required. However, it is possible to get an idea of the general ERP software, implementation and support costs you will need to consider.
Where to Look for an ERP Partner
Now you know what to look for in an ERP partner, how do you find them?
One of the best ways is to attend exhibitions and event that are specifically set up for this. With a number of potential ERP partners all in the same place at the same time, you can focus completely on assessing them.
You can meet with their staff and get a good understanding of their business, their experience and their approach to software implementation. Most ERP suppliers that attend events like this are also geared up to provide comprehensive demonstrations of their software.
NoBlue will be exhibiting at both these events soon. You can find out more about the dates and locations of these and other events we are attending this year, see our 2023 events page.