Love the ERP Software, Not Sure About the People?
When you’re looking at implementing an ERP system, a great deal of time is spent on the software, naturally: watching demos, getting a peek under the hood at functionality, learning about the technology platform, the product roadmap, etc. That’s all terrific, and vital, but how much time did you spend getting to know the people who will put ERP into play at your facilities? Loving you ERP team dynamics is just as crucial as loving your ERP software.
ERP Software without the right faces in place – that’s a recipe for disaster, or at least for falling short of performance optimization with your ERP system. There is no need for that; you can use the same due diligence in your discovery of the ERP team as you do for the technology:
For example, when you make customer reference calls, be sure to ask pointed questions about their experience with the ERP implementation people:
- “Does the work culture of your ERP partner team fit well with your own work culture?”
- “How professional did you find their interactions (e.g. responding to emails, meetings, grace under pressure)?”
- “How flexible were they to work with, in terms of changes during the ERP project?”
- “How well did they listen to your needs – now and for the future?”
- “Did you have quick access to anyone at the company, including management, whenever you needed them?”
- “How was support after the go-live? Did you get fast, friendly customer care?”
Assess Human Capital
As well, you would be well advised to look at the human capital invested behind your project, specifically, how well aligned is their staffing with your ERP buying/using lifecycle?
- In the pre-sales experience, are there enough industry knowledge, demos, materials, and feedback given on your process needs?
- Implementation Services: Project manager, developers, and business analysts 100% mandated to get your project up and running?
- After-Care: Is there a customer engagement team dedicated to helping you with subsequent phasing of your ERP implementation?
- What is the ERP company’s recent hiring pattern, i.e. the staffing growth trajectory?
- What kind of talent have they brought on-board recently – in development, business analysts, customer care. Skills set – certification, industry-specific work experience?
You should never be in the position where you love the ERP software but aren’t so sure about the ERP team behind your implementation. Make sure ‘love is in the air’ when you choose people and technology!
Heather Angus-Lee has a background as a trade journalist, including a long-time stint as editor of a national manufacturing magazine. She now works as a writer with JustFoodERP which provides ERP software to food processors and distributors across North America. She can be reached at email@example.com
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