Getting Started With ERP Software: Should You Choose An Industry Expert Or Implementation Expert?

In an ever-evolving economic landscape, stagnation is a company’s worst enemy. Seamless systems and adaptable tools are essential for companies looking to grow in 2021 and beyond. But where should you begin?

I’ve been in the ERP systems business for decades, and I’ve learned a thing or two about creating innovative solutions, as well as how to best help companies transition into using their new technology in a relatively painless manner. Let’s look at your options for implementing a scalable, cloud-based ERP software system with experts on your side.

Consider your options. You know you need to update your systems, but who should you turn to? You basically have three options— DIY, industry leaders, and implementation experts. While the DIY route is possible, I don’t typically recommend this route. A DIY implementation can work if your business processes are extremely simple and you or someone at your company has a strong ERP implementation background to draw from. Overseeing your own implementation may initially seem like a money-saving shortcut, but you may be setting yourself up for a long road of troubleshooting with little to no technical support. For a busy company, that can be a nightmare and end up costing you more in the long run.

Your other two options are much better— industry experts (think large firms with long, big-name client lists) or implementation experts (smaller firms that offer a deeper level of personal support throughout the entire process). Both of these are viable options, but let’s dive a little deeper into their pros and cons.

Call in the big guns. I spent the beginning of my career working for one of the industry experts, and I believe they are the leaders in the field for a reason. When working with a more prominent, more experienced firm, you reap the benefits of decades of implementations for a wide variety of clients. No matter your business, they’ve likely worked with another company with needs similar to yours.

Unfortunately, big firms like these don’t always provide the one-on-one support that makes company leaders and their employees feel comfortable throughout the transition to a new ERP system. Typically, large firms don’t prioritize personalization and relationship building with their clientele. Because big firms have so many clients and have done so many implementations, you may end up feeling like a number being handed a cookie-cutter solution.

Go for a more personal touch. After working for the industry experts for a while, I decided to branch out and build my own firm that addressed the issues I just discussed. I believe that you shouldn’t have to choose between quality of product and quality of client care. Transitioning to a new software system can be daunting for clients, and I wanted to create a company that addressed the more emotional side of software. That may sound unusual, but I’ve found that providing ample training, personalized coaching, and ongoing support after go-live are all vital to a smoother, more successful implementation.

While I’m in the software business, I’m also in the people business. Firms who prioritize a relationship-building-based implementation model and personalized technical support understand that the most essential resource powering any ERP system is the people. Find a firm that follows this tenet, and you will find a firm to lead you to success.

*This blog was originally written for Forbes. You can find the original post by clicking here.