If you’re planning to invest in a modern ERP solution, you should be looking at more than just the software. You also need to evaluate the vendor. Here’s why that’s so important and what you should consider when evaluating an ERP vendor.
What to Consider When Evaluating an ERP Vendor
Adopting a new ERP solution is a major investment. To ensure a strong return on investment (ROI), you’ll have to not only choose an ERP system that provides all the features your business needs but also select a vendor that can manage your software implementation and expertly guide you through the entire process—from the planning stages to go-live and beyond. Given the importance of this decision, you need a business partner you can trust. If there are doubts, concerns, or questions about the ERP vendor you’re considering, you need to know that before the implementation begins.
But how can you be sure you’re making the right choice? Here’s what to consider when evaluating an ERP vendor.
Is this Vendor Legitimate and Established?
One of the quickest ways to reduce the risk of selecting the wrong ERP vendor is to determine whether the vendor is a legitimate, established actor in the ERP sector. Verify with the software publisher that the vendor is certified and at what level. Upper-level certifications can demonstrate that the vendor meets a more stringent level of skill or quality.
Also, look for the company’s name on trusted, published lists of ERP vendors—like ERP Global Insights or Accounting Today’s Top 100. You can also ask the vendor how long they’ve been in business and how long they have been a reseller of the specific software you’re planning to invest in.
Do They Know Your Industry?
It’s important that you find an ERP vendor that is comfortable with your industry and line of work. Industry requirements vary, and if the vendor doesn’t have a solid knowledge of those requirements, your implementation could be a slow, frustrating experience.
Ask the vendor what percentage of successful implementations they have completed in your industry. Be sure to speak with the exact team members who will be working on your implementation and quiz them on their experience and level of expertise in your field.
What Is Their Leadership Structure, And What Are Their Values?
If you and your ERP vendor are going to work well together, then your business values must align. Review the vendor’s website and marketing resources and study their ownership and leadership structures. Find out what their mission and values are. Do you feel confident that they maintain these values throughout the organization? More importantly, are you confident that these values will guide the vendor’s implementation partnership with your business?
Who Is on Their Implementation Team?
It is critical for your team to meet the actual individuals who will be working with you on your ERP implementation. The importance of this can’t be overstated. You have to have a strong rapport with your ERP implementation team when you’re in the trenches with them, facing deadlines and project pressures.
Here are some pertinent questions to keep in mind:
- Who will you be working with? How experienced are they, and how committed are they to their company?
- Will you have a single point of contact taking responsibility for the entire implementation?
- Will this point of contact change? If so, under what circumstances would that occur?
- Does this vendor have all the skills needed for your implementation project, or will you require additional support?
- Are any roles outsourced?
- How will quality be controlled?
A legitimate, reputable vendor should be willing and able to answer all of these questions.
What Do Their Customers Say?
Perhaps the most important aspect of vetting an ERP vendor is understanding their relationships with past and current customers. Are their customers happy? What real, objective evidence is available about these customer relationships?
Look at vendor review sites, such as G2 Best Value-Added Resellers or the vendor’s Google Reviews, and ask for references on your own. Any top vendor will be able to provide at least three references, and many should be willing to provide multiple pages of references.
How We Can Help
i-Tech is a Gold Certified Acumatica Cloud ERP partner. Our team includes experienced industry professionals, business leaders, MBAs, and CPAs, who take the time to fully understand your business, challenge you with industry-best practices, and ensure your business gets the maximum benefit from Acumatica.
Acumatica offers a comprehensive, unified system that integrates with a variety of specialized applications. They also provide industry-specific editions, including Manufacturing, Distribution, Construction, and Retail.
“I liked Acumatica; it could do everything we needed it to from the distribution industry edition. Then there was i-Tech’s expertise in manufacturing and wholesale distribution and the fact that they had successfully implemented Acumatica for other businesses in our industry,” says Keith Ford, President of Eagle Fence Distributing. “We knew we really had a great fit between the correct solution provider along with the correct partner in i-Tech.” Read the full case study on Eagle Fence’s adoption of Acumatica here.
As you evaluate ERP vendors, we hope you’ll consider i-Tech and our ability to check all the ERP vendor evaluation boxes discussed today. Contact us to learn more.