If you’re considering a new ERP system, you’ve probably looked closely at the details of each possible software solution and evaluated which capabilities would best serve your business goals. But one important consideration often gets overlooked in this process: who will be supporting your ERP implementation? A dedicated ERP support team is a must for your implementation to be a success. So, what should you look for in an ERP support team?
Choosing a team of people to partner with can sometimes be more difficult than choosing a software solution. It’s important to evaluate both tangible benefits (low cost, availability, etc.) with intangible benefits (friendliness, expertise, etc.). Here are a few things to look for:
- Ongoing training and support after implementation
- Flexibility and the ability to customize your ERP for your unique needs.
- Experience and expertise with your chosen solution
- Value for your money
- Belief in a true partnership, which includes listening closely to your goals.
- Methods of working that mesh well with how your own management team operates.
This list isn’t exhaustive, but it will get you started thinking about what you really need from a support team.
While each support team is slightly different, there are a few key roles that should be filled in any good support team. When you’re evaluating ERP partners, make sure that your potential support team would include the following people:
- Project sponsor or senior manager
Any successful project needs direction. A good support team will include a senior manager who can set goals, strategies, and expectations. This senior manager should be the key decision-maker who will keep your implementation on track in terms of resource use, time, and budget. They can ensure your project is a priority and can take corrective measures as needed.
- Project manager(s)
ERP project managers take care of the details. They are responsible for finding ways to meet the project scope, timeline, and budget. They will conduct regular status meetings, obtain approvals for process definitions and project documents, identify and mitigate risks, finalize deadlines, and communicate project progress to stakeholders within the team and within your company.
- Change manager(s)
Change management is a team or individual who is responsible for ensuring the participation and consensus (as much as possible) of all stakeholders. They will be in charge of keeping your employees informed about the project, helping them understand the new system’s benefits, and helping you establish guidelines for how ERP data will be collected and used.
- Technical consultant(s)
Your technical consultant (also called an implementation partner) is perhaps the most important member of your ERP support team. They are responsible for the actual technical implementation of the system in accordance with industry best practices. They will implement, test, and customize the system. They may also be the one to train your employees on how to use the system. After implementation, they will be your primary contact for continued system support.
- Subject matter experts—from your own company!
Although these team members are not provided by your ERP partner, they are worth mentioning here, as they are critical to the success of the project. Subject matter experts are those in your own company who fully grasp your business goals, operations, and risks. They will collaborate with everyone from the ERP partner’s support team to define requirements for the system and provide any business data that the support team requests.
ASI can help. We offer ERP implementation, consulting, customization, and support to help your business thrive. Your business software is only as good as your software provider, and we never stop in the pursuit of excellence. Contact us today to learn more or schedule a free consultation.