ULTRA INSIGHT

Finding the Right ERP Consultant

Most mid-market manufacturing and distribution organizations are significantly challenged by an ERP project. The primary reason? The sheer size and complexity of the initiative.

The typical ERP project cuts across every area of the business from finance to warehouse, and every function, including accounting, inventory, production, quality, shopfloor, supply chain and shipping. And it’s difficult for an internal team to free themselves from their regular responsibilities and immediate tasks so they can apply the needed time, effort and attention to the ERP project.

Another big reason: ERP selection and implementation requires a combination of advanced skillsets – capabilities that include business process mapping, project management, change management and risk management – and knowledge that includes a deep understanding of modern enterprise technology and the vendor landscape.

Which is why the expertise and experience of an ERP consultant is highly valuable – and often necessary for a successful project and, ultimately, the realization of critical benefits.

How do you find and select the right ERP consultant for your company? Evaluate prospective firms in these nine categories and with these questions:

1. Experience
Does the firm’s consulting team know your industry and companies like yours? Will the consultants assigned to the project offer skillsets specific to your business? How long, on average, is the tenure of the consultants assigned to the project?

2. Expertise
How much experience does the firm have with managing a project like yours? Will it be able to handle all the phases of the project? What is its track record for on-time, on-budget and in-scope performance?

3. Scope of Work
Will the consulting firm role up its sleeves and work side by side your teams throughout the project? Or will your organization be left holding the bag with a long list of tasks to do with limited busy resources?

4. Independence
Is the firm truly vendor agnostic?

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5. Services
Does the consulting firm offer services for each phase of your project (business process improvement, software evaluation and selection, implementation, value realization)? Does the firm provide a thorough, detailed description of the services to be delivered?

6. Change Management
Does the firm consider change management an essential component of your project? What plans and actions are planned to ensure user adoption and, ultimately, project success?

7. Reputation
What do the firm’s past clients say about their experience? Does the consulting firm regularly contribute to industry thought leadership?

8. Project Deliverables
Are the project deliverables specified? Do the deliverables make sense and add value to the business and throughout project?

9. Value
How will project success measured? Will it beonly on on-time and on-budget performance? Or will there be more depth and maturity in the metrics, such as whether the business case ROI is achieved? Will the firm identify and quantify opportunities to drive short-term and long-term ROI?

How can you improve the odds of ERP success?

We asked our expert consultants for their advice, and then compiled their insight into an ebook, 7 Essential Strategies for a Successful ERP Project.

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