If you’re deciding on an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution for your growing business you want to ensure you’re getting sound advice, and talking to people with the experience and skills to deliver the best outcome. After all, the right business systems are critical to your business operation and future success, so there needs to be a high level of trust and confidence. The ability of your chosen advisors to deliver and support you through the complete change process is essential.
The ERP market is highly competitive and there are many options and support paths to choose, both local and remote. In many cases you can also choose to purchase directly via the software vendor or choose a partner. Understand the difference between a vendor and a partner is very important when you’re investing in a long-term solution.
When considering the option to purchase software directly from a well-recognised brand, its valuable to understand the potential drawbacks.
Software vendor relationships tend to be very transactional in nature. Often they utilise a “cookie cutter” approach based on an international model. You purchase the software; they implement it with minimal customisation or client input. There is often a limited relationship and minimal direct contact following the initial sales approach; as such you may deal with a different consultant every time you make contact, which can lead to delays and frustration when trying to resolve a question or issue. Consistency can be a challenge.
The common “one size fits most” approach used by many international vendors can assists them in maximising their implementation resources, but there may be limited options for tailoring software to your business processes. You may end up having to change your processes to suit their solution or incurring much higher out of scope development costs to achieve the solution that’s right for you.
Vendors often have limited exposure to systems and solutions outside of their core competency. A comprehensive business solution is often required to integrate with third party solutions or processes such as websites, eCommerce, 3PL or EDI. This is generally outside of a vendor business model and can become an expensive and difficult process involving external contractors to achieve the desired result.
Support is more often than not, a remote call centre (possibly offshore) and you may have call queues or support staff that are only familiar with generic processes and not equipped to respond to your specific needs.
In short, Software vendors develop great software – which is something we can all appreciate. However, whilst they are focused on developing and marketing their software or maximising license growth, they often don’t understand the process or nuances of implementing it; or more importantly, understand the right overall solution for the client.
Software vendors are focused on shareholder expectations and reaching benchmarks for investors often resulting in targets for growth or license sales that have little to do with how their solution will work specifically for you. In other words, they may sell software to a business that is not the best fit, resulting in a poor customer experience.
Working with an implementation Partner
Purchasing your ERP system from a partner or VAR (value added reseller), means exactly that – they add value to the product and your business. Partners form a relationship with you and your team to ensure they completely understand your business, your processes, and the subtleties that make your business unique. Your lead implementation consultant has a wealth of experience and will take the time to understand your current processes and help you automate, improve efficiencies and recommend solutions to suit your business requirements.
Whatever size or stage your business is at, your partner can help you take you to the next level by ensuring the software and implementation process is the correct fit for your business.
Professional and informed support needs to be provided by a team that is familiar and already understands your business. By ensuring everything is in-house, and all knowledge is shared, not only do you get personalised support but the confidence that there are a variety of skilled people on standby that are ready to assist.
A partner can identify or recommend additional products and services that in addition to your core ERP software can help your business achieve greater productivity and efficiency.
Cloud based software is regularly updated and evolving and this naturally requires an ongoing relationship as your partner can help your businesses to adapt to the changes and take full advantage of the ever-growing list of features and benefits.
A partner is in the often-unique position of helping customers take their business to the next level, by delivering tailored software solutions through partnership, cooperation and trust. We do that by establishing long lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with our customers.
Acclaim is committed to customer service, problem solving and providing long term solutions tailored to our customers needs. Our visions is to “Evolve your Business”. To earn a customers loyalty, we work to understand your business, anticipate needs and strive to create value.