As you’re facing a new ERP project, it’s tempting to ask a current staff member to take it on. After all, they know the company, and you won’t be spending extra money to have them lead the effort.

But before you pile yet another project onto Suzy or Jim’s shoulders, think about other options.

The problem with asking a current staff member to tackle ERP implemention is multi-faceted. Suzy or Jim may already have a full plate, and asking them to take on a major, time intensive project will either bump other mission-critical work to the back of the line or delay your ERP project.

More importantly, if your staff members are also new to an ERP system, it may be better to look for help elsewhere. Although they may be quite good at their jobs, they may not have the experience to spot potential problems or roadblocks that can delay your project.

An ERP consultant can offer you the benefit of her experience as well as the insights gained from knowing a system in its entirety. They can also be helpful if you already have an ERP system but need to integrate it with other software or update it in some way.

There are several pros and cons to bringing in outside help, but a few stand out.  Here’s why—and when—you should work with an ERP consultant.

Updating Older Software

Companies may know their software needs or they may be in the exploratory stages. Having an ERP consultant on board can save you a great deal of time when you’re shopping for an upgrade. They can help you identify current challenges and needs within your company, prioritize them, and define project scope, size, and parameters. They can assess other systems that may need to communicate with the ERP system and how best to accomplish this integration. An experienced consultant can make the whole process run smoothly.

Updating older software must take into account both the current needs and the existing data. Important data into a new system must be done carefully to preserve data integrity and ensure it’s matched inside the new system. A dedicated ERP consultant can find ways to do this that save time and effort. It may be well worth it to hire a consultant.

Manage Change

Change is never easy. Changing to an ERP system or asking employees to use a new system can cause stress throughout your company. The learning curve may add to the stress level within the organization. Having an outside consultant can ease some of the stress. Consultants know the best way to roll out the new ERP system and implement changes that will benefit your company. More importantly, they can teach the staff how to use the new system and show them all the bells and whistles so they get the full value and benefit from the new ERP system. A good consultant can help you manage change for a better ERP implementation.

Legacy Systems Retired

Legacy systems can also cause stress and turmoil as they are phased out and new systems brought on board. It’s easy to underestimate how attached some of your staff are to the older systems. Even with their quirks and crankiness, older systems are a known quantity. You’re asking people to give up something they know for a new, untested idea, and many will balk at it.

An ERP consultant can help you sell the benefits of a new system internally. Their enthusiasm is contagious. And because they are a neutral third party, without a personal stake in the old or new systems, their recommendations may be heard above the chatter. ERP consultants can help you transition out legacy systems and bring in new systems.

Underutilized Systems

“I’m so frustrated. I can never get the system to do what I need it to do.”

“I’m still using spreadsheets. I don’t have time to learn the reporting system.”

Comments like these are all signs that it’s time to hire an ERP systems consultant. They point to the same problem: a system that’s underused.

Often times, the ERP system itself is fine – but the staff using it hasn’t taken the time (or been given the time) to learn it to its fullest. Frustrations mount, and the staff cries that they need a new system. The problem may not be in the system but in their training.

An ERP consultant can help close the knowledge gap so that staff members stop feeling frustrated with the software and can begin to use it. With ERP consultants available to teach staff how to use reports and show them how to solve these problems, you’ll get the most value from your system.

Accounting Systems Incorporated (ASI): ERP Consultants

Accounting Systems Incorporated (ASI) offer ERP consulting you can trust. We have many years of experience working with systems such as Sage 100 and Acumatica Cloud ERP and can help you implement a new system, update an existing one, or help your team use it more effectively. For more information, visit our website, or call us at 803-252-6154