Find Your Long Term ERP Partner This Valentine’s Day

Posted by Paul Bywater on Thu, Feb 14, 2013

Selecting new ERP software also means selecting a new partner for your business, so choose wisely.

Don’t be surprised if you’ve fallen out of love with your current ERP supplier. Almost seven out of ten firms which decide to replace their existing ERP software also choose to find a new vendor, often because the relationship has broken down.

It may be because the supplier has failed to keep promises made during the sales process. It could be they no longer give your product, or your industry, the attention you feel it deserves. Or it could simply be that you’ve outgrown the product or its technology and that it’s time for something new.


Find your long term ERP partner this Valentines Day


Whatever the reason behind the separation, choosing a new ERP partner is a time-consuming process. It would be much more cost-effective to have a long-term relationship with an organisation that knows how to meet your needs, and continues to do so as they develop over the years.

Top reasons for introducing a new ERP system:

  1. The current system is outdated (61%)
  2. Because of a change in requirements or processes (41%)
  3. The existing system is functionally deficient (37%).

In ERP deployments, “Look for business benefits in four areas: IT cost savings, business process efficiency, as a business process platform for process standardization and as a catalyst for business innovation.”


How to find the ideal ERP software supplier

Start by taking a good look at who supplies other organisations in your industry. Almost all ERP suppliers become specialists in particular sectors or forms of organisation, because they spend more time with customers with those characteristics.

A software company that understands, and is working to resolve, issues specific to your industry is much more likely to provide the ongoing support you need. But don’t just take their word for it. Review their track record, talk to other customers and try to gain some insight into their future direction.

Find out how many expert staff they have, and how long they’ve been with the firm. Don’t be afraid to ask searching questions and don’t settle for unsatisfactory answers.

Decide whether you wish to work with a software author or a reseller. For very simple requirements a reseller may be more effective. If you have more complex requirements the benefits of working with the author become more compelling. An author, by definition, is wholly committed to their software. They probably possess greater industry experience and understanding of how your type of business works too. A significant long-term benefit is that an author can include your unique requirements into a standard product. This is very important over the life cycle of your ERP system. Most businesses hit the 'upgrade brick wall' because their supplier’s standard product hasn’t adequately progressed, development has not been aligned to their industry or bespoke changes have made upgrades practically impossible.

Robust health, of the financial variety, is also an important part of the long-term relationship recipe. You want your ERP partner to be there for years to come. While you can’t predict whether they’ll fail or be taken over by a disinterested third party, it’s prudent to assess the risks.

The top four reasons for choosing particular ERP software:

  1. Functionality - 69%
  2. Flexibility - 55%
  3. System is particularly suitable to SMEs - 49%
  4. Expertise and appearance of the vendor - 43%.


Discover the chemistry for a relationship that blossoms

The best relationships are mutually beneficial over a long time. The right supplier of ERP software for you won’t just be seeking short-term satisfaction; they’ll also be interested in a partnership that works both ways.

They’ll want to know your views on how your industry is developing and what technology can provide the best advantages. They’ll be concerned about your ongoing satisfaction, with both their products and their services.

Even in today’s digital environment, personal chemistry retains a high value in commercial relationships. Can you and your team work comfortably with a potential ERP supplier? Can both sides understand and work towards the same goals?

There’s more to finding the right long-term ERP partner than blind dates or online match making. It takes time and perseverance; but get it right, and you could have a relationship that grows with your business.


The difference ERP can make:

‘Best in class’ firms using ERP 97% inventory accuracy
3.4 days to close a month
96% manufacturing schedule compliance
98% complete and on-time shipments
Average firms using ERP 94% inventory accuracy
5.3 days to close a month
88% manufacturing schedule compliance
93% complete and on-time shipments
Firms not using ERP 90% inventory accuracy
6.5 days to close a month
88% manufacturing schedule compliance
89% complete and on-time shipments

Source: Aberdeen Group  

What questions do you think you should ask software developers before you commit?


You choose the success of your ERP project

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Topics: ERP software