How to Choose the Right System Implementation Partner
Much has been written about the importance of choosing the right system when it comes to successful ERP implementations. However, RAMA’s experience is that choosing the right implementation partner is just as important as choosing the right system.
It is essential that the system selection process is designed to identify the best system and implementation partner(s) combination. In the Request for Proposal (RFP) document which is issued to prospective vendors, the questions must gather information not only about the system functionality and costs, but also about the quality and experience of the implementation partner as well as the skill and experience of the individual consultants who will be placed on the implementation team. References should be checked for the system as well as the implementation partner, and if possible, for the consultants being proposed for the project.
RAMA LLP can help clients to better manage the selection process while bringing extensive knowledge of the marketplace, a proven selection methodology and an unbiased perspective to bear on the selection process. So how do you choose the right partner? Your goal should be to narrow that list down to one or two vendors using the following checklist to filter your options: –
Few points to consider before choosing the right Implementation Partner
1. Does this Implementation partner have expertise in your industry?
If the partner has prior implementation experience in your industry, it will certainly be a plus. The vendor will be able to consult you on various scenarios before the actual solution is finalized and signed off.
2. Is the ERP Implementation partner right sized?
ERP implementation does not necessarily succeed or fail only based on the organization’s size. In order to get maximum commercial benefits with reduced risks, the partner should be right-sized to match the organization’s size.
3. Does this implementation partner have enough resources for post-implementation support?
All ERP implementations will require post Go-Live support. Explore the support options of the vendor and the total cost of ownership for 5 years.
4. Free Demo / POC of your business use cases
It is better to insist on a demo or a proof of concept for your business use cases and evaluate their level of understanding of your business processes.
5. Project Implementation Methodologies adopted
Understand the implementation methodologies proposed by the vendor and figure out if they are suitable for your business. Some propose Agile methods while some may propose waterfall methodologies.
6. Effective Training / Change Management plan
This is another crucial criterion to select the vendor. The ERP journey might fail without an effective user training and change management plan.
7. Involvement of senior leadership in the Implementation cycle
Insist on a commitment from the vendor’s senior leadership team to be a part of the project implementation cycle. Their presence in the Steering committee is of utmost importance to ensure smooth execution of the project. They can also help cut short decision-making delays.
8. Few Customer Reference Visits / Calls
Insist on talking to their existing customers and meeting those projects as site visits. Also inquire about the quality of consultants supplied, areas of concern, strengths, and weaknesses.
9. Previous Implementation Quality awards / Accolades by the OEM
The awards will represent the quality processes followed by the ERP implementation partner and their expertise in the domain.
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