The process from understanding that you need a new ERP to the ERP going live can sometimes be lengthy. Choosing the software that best fits business your specific business needs is one of the most important steps within that process. The other step that is imperative but not often thoroughly considered is who will be implementing the software. There are a couple of different ways to arrive at that decision:
- Choosing a company such as Paapri to help guide you through both the choosing of the ERP software as well as the implementation of it
- Choosing the ERP software ahead of time and allowing the software vendor to introduce you to the company they recommend to implement your ERP
In the second scenario, one of the upfront questions to the prospective ERP implementation company is “Do you have references?”
On the surface, this ask seems valid – it’s commonplace to want to know that a business has had success and provided a positive experience to their previous customers. The downside to this perspective is that it’s unlikely a company is going to provide you with references who found it challenging to work with them.
Taking this into account, there are more specific questions that could provide you with better information that will be more insightful and useful when making a decision. If you find yourself in a position of evaluating a prospective company to implement your ERP, consider asking the following questions to better set yourself up for a smooth partnership and a successful ERP implementation:
1) What experience do you have implementing ERPs for my industry?
Any company with extensive experience implementing ERP systems within your industry will already understand the basic needs that you’re trying to meet. You can even ask to see a few websites of customers within your industry to gain an understanding of what they’re implemented previously.
2) What challenges have you encountered when others in my industry have implemented this ERP?
The hope is always that the ERP process, from beginning to end, will go as smoothly as possible. The reality is that sometimes there are challenges along the way. Inquiring as to whether the prospective ERP implementation company has run into any challenges and understanding how they handled them lets you know that they already have insight into how to solve certain things.
3) How do we best set expectations for the implementation?
Whenever there are multiple parties involved in a project, there is a possibility for requests to spin a little out of control. Creating a plan to maintain expectations will help ensure the scope and the timeline of the project stay on track, and provides a proactive track to take in the event it starts to steer off course.
Taking the time to ask a few in-depth questions, instead of references, will provide both you and the prospective ERP implementation company a better understanding around whether your partnership will lead to success, which is the ultimate goal for everyone involved.