Good ERP consultants do more than just evaluate or implement software. They have the skills and experience to guide an organization through all the changes associated with using an ERP solution. Each stage of the process is critical to success, and a consultant should be able to handle the evaluation, implementation, customization and support of an ERP package with equal expertise.
Bringing the right consultant into the evaluation stage can help turn the process into an opportunity to transform a business into a leaner, more efficient organization. The evaluation period is a great time to re-evaluate business processes and make adjustments before selecting and customizing an ERP package to fit those processes. A consultant can bring an outside perspective with expertise in best practices from others in the industry to help assess what should change.
One only needs to take stock of how many ERP implementations go wrong, costing time and money, to realize the importance of selecting the right consultant. ERP implementations are much more than software installations. They require an implementation road map which includes process maps, prototypes and proof of concept designs. Expert consultants also have a change management strategy to help smooth the adoption of the new system by end users.
Having taken the time to understand the ways an organization does business, an expert consultant will be able to not only lead a successful implementation of the OOTB offering, but also make customizations where needed to optimize the way things get done. Only an expert in the ERP software will know what can be customized and how to extend the product in the most cost effective and maintainable way possible. Consultants should also be an expert in mobilization to keep up with a company’s needs in this area.
During implementation, a company will get a good idea whether they are dealing with a trusted professional or not. Such a consultant proves to be invaluable even after the initial adoption. It’s important to build a good, lasting relationship with the consultant because implementations may have to change if processes change or customizations may need to be re-applied during a software upgrade. Having the support of a qualified consultant to address these changes saves time and money by ensuring that an organization’s workstreams are optimized. This type of ongoing relationship is yet another reason to take the time upfront to research who you select to evaluate and implement an ERP package, because the effects are ongoing.