Three key questions to ask your ERP consultant pre-hire
ERP consultants are expensive. Before hiring one for your ERP project, let’s consider a few points to help hire the right one. Whether you want to hire a consultant for selection or project management or another ERP purpose, these questions should apply.
1. “Would you tell me about your ERP experience?”
“What ERP systems have you worked with?” is also a good start,
Here we hope to hear of several different ERPs across a variety of implementations. No two are alike and a consultant with broad experience is more likely to have a trick that once worked they can pull out when something unexpected happens on your implementation. Pay attention to the systems mentioned. If the consultant’s background is SAP and Oracle while you are thinking more of Sage or Dynamics GP this might not be the right one.
That excellent background will ground the response to the next question: “why do you recommend this ER for our business?”
2. “How will you ensure this ERP implementation is a success?”
While the consultant cannot absolutely ensure your success, they should have a solid approach that will increase the probability of success.
Success begins with a solid set of requirements you and your team put together. Following those requirements is a project plan including project management, data transfers, testing, training, and any other needed steps through implementation go-live day and beyond. Your consultant will not perform all these steps, but as your hired expert they will play an important role ensuring the steps taken lead to your success.
Listen to the reply and be sure there is a significant amount of change management in the plan. Some of your users will easily adapt and others will need some help. Another related question here could be: “How many successful implementations have you worked on and what is your ratio of successful to total implementations?” This background information you hope will provide a better probability of your own success.
3. “How are you different to other ERP implementation consultants?”
You want to hire a good, competent ERP consultant. This question gives the person an opportunity to brag about how they set themselves apart from other, more ordinary consultants - their competitors.
You want to draw out the real person who might serve you. The consultant you hire will be a part of your team for quite a while. Answers to this question might help you decide if their personality and style will fit in well with those of your company and especially your implementation team members.
These three questions are intended as a starting point to help develop your own questions. Best of luck with your new ERP system.
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