When an organisation of any size decides to start the journey to digital transformation, it’s a huge undertaking, which relies on an internal support structure. Something we’ve come to notice at Boss Consulting is that many businesses fall into the trap of trying to handle the project solely through there internal capacity and skill base, which ultimately causes delivery risk; transformation costs can quickly spiral out of control and transformation remediation becomes even more expensive.
To avoid these problems, and to ensure that your business transformation is a success, it’s essential to construct a solid team, made up of internal and external stakeholders with the appropriate experience and skills.
Lets look at and outline the different types of ERP partners, making sure to highlight some of the pros and cons of each.
There are three types of ERP partner
1. Software vendors
This one is fairly self-explanatory, as these types of partners are the companies that sell enterprise software i.e. SAP, Microsoft, Oracle etc. The main issue with working directly with the vendor is that they tend to be juggling your business needs with their own sales processes and there could be times when you won’t be the top priority. Similarly, it’s essential that all the pros and cons are weighed up when considering the software fit, and it could be that this is obscured by the vendor’s own sales cycle and bias.
2. System integrators
Up next we have system integrators; these are the companies that are deployed to help implement the ERP software you’ve chosen, and they can bring insight and expertise to the project across a wide spectrum of specialist roles. However, system integrators are often affiliated with the software and technologies which underpin their business models, and as above, this can make it more likely that there will be an unconscious bias. This is particularly true if there’s an issue during implementation, as a system integrator can be more likely to encourage you towards customising software, as this generates effort and thus additional revenue.
3. Independent ERP consultants
An independent ERP consultancy will work as an extension of your team, understanding your business needs will always be the top priority. They’re there to act as an ally throughout the process, and can provide independent and unbiased guidance and advice. They’ll also be able to help you to navigate, resource and negotiate your business transformation with software vendors and systems integrators.
With this in mind, we can now delve deeper into the true value that an independent and nonbiased ERP consultancy can bring to your business.
An experienced consultant will have learnt many lessons, helping them know what good looks like
With a strong portfolio of projects under their belt, an experienced ERP partner can offer a level of forward thinking and understanding that often can’t be sourced internally. By harnessing their knowledge and experience, businesses can select the appropriate software, implement it efficiently and also stay on budget, whilst retaining the ownership of the project.
ERP projects fail because internal resources are stretched too thinly
One of the main reasons that transformation projects fail is due to the fact that many businesses attempt to do the implementation themselves, ultimately stretching internal resources too thin. It’s worth keeping in mind that an enterprise digital transformation is one of the most costly and complex projects a business can take on; that’s why it’s advisable to bring in a support system that can keep the project moving while the majority of the internal business teams remain focused on driving the business.
Businesses need to bring in an ERP partner that will be loyal to them and their digital transformation goals, and an independent partner will be impartial, while aligning to business objectives and supporting the business through the change journey. ERP projects are often long, complex and stressful, so it’s important that organisations bring in consultants who fit with the company culture and can work with the existing teams.
Often, choosing to work with a larger a partner gets overwhelming and expensive very quickly. That’s why it’s more beneficial to work with a boutique partner, where businesses benefit from an experienced team that puts the project first, offers bespoke teams of resources to aligned to the roles, and creates a long-lasting relationship throughout the full project life-cycle. Why not give us a call to discuss how we could help you embark on your transformation journey?