Why hire a consultant to help you with your ERP Selection and Project?

Colin MacMillanArcus UK, Blog, ERP, ERP Selection

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In today’s article we explore the reasons why your company should hire an ERP selection consultant.

Let’s get right into it …

So why should you hire an ERP consultant to help you prepare, source and select the right fit of ERP solution and vendor for your business?  It’s another cost is the primary objection.

Well perhaps that question is a helpful starting point.  With such a big decision that will impact your business for a minimum of 5-10 years, doesn’t it make sense to get professional advice?

Here is our list of some simple reasons why investment in an ERP Selection consultant is a significant value add to your ERP project:

  • Experience – your ERP selection consultant will have worked with ERP software in various roles for 20+ years.   How often do we embark on projects that end up expanding in scope and budget and struggle to get completed on time? It’s often inexperience that fails to identify the pitfalls that cause these problems.  Advice from an ERP Selection consultant, who has seen it all numerous times can help prevent mistakes before they happen.
  • External Party – often it is helpful just to be an external party that can sit down with different departments in your company and get some honest feedback and ideas flowing.  Like it or not, this isn’t always the case with an internal team.  Simply being external can reduce barriers that otherwise mean important details are not considered for the project.
  • No Distractions – the external consultant can devote their full attention to the task.  Often we see internal people tasked with this job but they don’t have a lot of spare time on top of their current responsibilities.  This causes delays.
  • De-risk your decision – whether you are spending 20K, 50K, 80K, or 200+ on your ERP project, it’s a really important decision and may involve quite a few intangibles that don’t make it a simple decision.  A professionally run process will de-risk this investment and give you additional peace of mind when you make your final selection.
  • Speed up the process – very often we talk to companies who have already been looking into ERP solutions for 6-12 months or even longer.  The reason this happens is normally because there are a lot of details to consider when looking for an ERP solution, there is a lot of thinking to do and there is a learning curve.  As a result the process and project stall.  Often the initial impulse of looking for a system, is no longer the main driver behind the project.  Or what begins as a “we need a new CRM” turns into, “we really need an ERP solution”.   An ERP Selection consultant is experienced in the workflow of the ERP selection process and knows what you are going through.  You can save hours/days of time by being pointed in the right direction by an independent expert. The un-biased view also allows you to declutter the list of results you are looking for and to set realistic expectations for the project.
  • Building your business case – building a business case for ERP software is often a challenging task.  An ERP Selection consultant will be able to review the main drivers behind your project and then select the appropriate model to build a business case.  Lucid articulation of this key element of your project is often the main unknown with companies we are talking to who might have even already seen several system demos.  Without your case documented and articulated properly, with every key member of the organisation in agreement, chances are you are going into your project half blind.
  • Product Knowledge – your consultant will be familiar with the products on the market that are a good fit for your organisation, and likely they will have hands-on experience using those systems.  So you can get direct information about the pros and cons of the systems available.  They will also be able to prepare a list of requirements.
  • Running a Professional Selection Process – as we discuss on our website in the “ERP Yes or NO?” section, and our “ERP Selection tools” page, there are established processes for selecting an ERP solution.  Preparation of the internal team, project sponsor, requirements, project goals, formal RFP or RFI, vendor vetting, and pricing comparison all form part of a rigorous process that help you determine the best solution for your business.  Having a professional do this for you will make your final decision a lot more straightforward and will increase your return.

Experience with industry best practices, vertical requirements, vendor vetting skills and negotiation are additional areas where your consultant will be able to impact the project.

At Arcus we provide ERP Selection services through independent consultants, as well as our own internal team, and utilise our several decades of experience in the industry to add as much value to your project as possible, and ensure your project is a success.

Feel free to contact us for more information.

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Colin MacMillan
Colin MacMillan
Modern ERP expert, certified Acumatica consultant