How to select the best ERP consulting firm: Five tips for making the right decision
What is an ERP consultant or ERP Consulting Firm? There’s no degree or certification needed to call oneself an ERP consultant — which has left some room for interpretation. Typically, when we refer to an ERP consultant or ERP consulting firm or group, we’re talking about an individual or a firm that helps companies identify and choose the ideal ERP for their needs. The best ERP consultants and groups also spearhead the ERP implementation, configuration, and training phases, bringing continuity to the project and ensuring that the firm keeps promises made during the sales cycle. How do you select the best ERP consultant or consulting firm for your organization and project? We’ve got five tips to help make the decision easier.
Look for a partner with extensive experience working with other companies in your industry. This “local knowledge” is invaluable when it comes to quickly setting up dashboards, reports, and KPIs that reflect the data tracked by companies in your industry. The ERP consultant’s industry knowledge also proves valuable in recommending best practices and streamlined workflows that they’ve seen work for similar companies. Looking to find the best ERP solution for your industry? Explore ERP industry solutions >
Company’s reach and breadth
Do you have multiple locations or expansion plans? Consider an ERP consultant that has geographic reach and breadth. Never underestimate the value of a local presence. While we’ve all honed our remote work skills over the past year, there will be times when having your ERP consulting partner on site will be an asset. And even if your current plans do not include expansion, an ERP consulting firm that’s large enough to maintain multiple offices or hubs is likely to have a larger, more experienced consulting team for which you can draw.
Many companies also rely on their ERP consulting group to provide other types of services, including managed technology services, application hosting, and corporate performance management and planning. It’s a holistic approach to your technology infrastructure that can yield tremendous benefits and efficiencies. You’ll typically only find this breadth of offerings in more established, larger firms.
References, reputation, and longevity
Always ask an ERP consulting firm for references. The best ERP consultants will be happy to share this information. Ask to speak to customers in the same or similar industry who faced similar challenges. Another way to get this type of first-hand customer information is through case studies featuring the ERP consultant’s customers. ERP consulting firms with a library of case studies featuring satisfied customers have developed a positive reputation in the industry. How long has the ERP consulting firm been in business? A partner with a long-term track record is likely one that treats their clients well and keeps their promises.
Individual consultant’s experience
While you’re hiring an ERP consulting group, you’ll be working with one or just a few key individual consultants. While having a newer ERP consultant as part the project can be beneficial, there’s simply no substitute for experience. And remember, you’ll be working closely with the individual consultant for months, so you want to find someone you like and trust.
Most ERP consulting firms represent/resell one vendor’s ERP application. Naturally, when you speak to them, they will be trying to fit your business into the product they resell. While this approach can work, we think more options is always better. Consider working with an ERP consultant that represents multiple ERP applications from more than one vendor. A partner with more available applications will be in a better position to identify the solution that fits your organizational needs best, rather than recommending the only solution they have.
Still wondering how to select the best ERP consulting firm? We’ve got answers.
The Answer Company has been helping businesses reach their potential for more than 25 years. By building trusted partnerships with our clients, we help them leverage the technology solutions that promote growth and profitability. With more than 1,500 clients throughout North America, we have broad and deep industry expertise and experience. Our consulting team works from offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Toronto — and is ready to meet you — in person or virtually. Beyond ERP selection and implementation, The Answer Company is a comprehensive technology partner, providing managed IT services, application hosting, and even CFO/Controller outsourcing options. We’d love the opportunity to win your trust and become your ERP consulting firm of choice. Contact a member of our team to start the discussion.