Managing ERP Management from Selection to Upgrade
Your business is not alone. Manufacturers and distributors operate in an interconnected web that is often as expansive and elusive as the internet, or even the galaxy. Add constant digital connectivity to this already complex network of relationships, and you are in need of a strategy for managing the people behind the technological world you’ve created by implementing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and its supporting third-party applications.
Your ERP world begins with your original ERP vendor, the publisher of your enterprise resource planning software. Due to updates to the ERP system itself and also to the expectations of implementation and ongoing support, your ERP vendor relationship is key to the success of your implementation.
Relationships that Bring Value to Your Business
You strengthen your business every time you add a valuable relationship to your network. EstesGroup begins every relationship with PAIR (Passion, Accountability, Integrity, Respect), our core-value approach to business consulting. We nurture this core system to build and support our partnerships with companies like yours, and some of these relationships span decades. We also apply our value system to ad hoc projects, so if you choose to work with our ERP or IT consultants, you’ll experience our core values, even if all you need is a free dark web scan.
P is for Passion, an energy-based value.
Passion gives your software or technology project life from selection all the way through to deployment and ongoing support. Here are a few traits that you can nurture in your business culture, in order to promote passion in your project:
- Positivity: Culture is everything in ERP implementation. Happy users result in happy customers, happy budgets, and a promising future.
- Reciprocity: Your vendor relationships particularly should never be one-sided. Two-sided relationships create the strong bridge that allows your ERP system to close gaps.
- Competitiveness: Passionate teams win. While your ERP software project might not feel as exciting as the Super Bowl, it unfolds in similar drama, regalia, and celebration. Hopefully, you’ve chosen an ERP software vendor that will be along for the entire journey, including every win.
A is for Accountability, a value of action.
Think of how public you are as a business owner. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had someone on your right, and someone on your left, who would improve your reputation every step of the way? Here are three things to ask if you suspect that your ERP vendor doesn’t want to be accountable for any failures in your project’s future:
- Does your software vendor fully support your ERP system at every level, from purchase to replacement?
- Does your vendor provide resources and training materials beyond introductory materials that promote the software sale?
- Does the vendor take time and care to help you establish goals that meet your expectations and budget requirements?
I is for Integrity, a value with vast repercussions.
Do you trust your ERP vendor? Does this same level of trust apply to the consultants you’ve chosen to assist you with the implementation? Here are some things that your software vendor and your ERP implementation team should share:
R is for Respect, a value of resourcefulness and resources.
Respect creates an extended network of resources, since it’s the moral ground of community-building activities and outcomes. There shouldn’t be false hope here. You should respect your vendors because they are known experts in the field and because they sincerely want to help you achieve your goals.
In ERP, Strategy Comes from Strength
Strategic partnership is key to survival in today’s competitive world of manufacturing and distribution, especially in regard to vendor relationships. Talent can feel sparse when you’re struggling through an ERP implementation and deployment.
A good vendor provides a roadmap for your software use. Recommendations should include deployment options. If an ERP vendor only offers a SaaS (Software as a Service) option, then you know advice is weighted with vendor profits in mind. Sadly, many ERP buyers are swayed to sign up for all services a vendor is trying to sell. A good vendor relationship begins with open communication, honesty, and customer-focused interaction.
The Vendor to Buyer Connection
There may come a day when you realize that your vendor was a bad decision or a necessary evil. If you do have conflict with your software vendor, then you might need relationship management techniques that promote a healthier relationship with the company that sold you your ERP system. An independent consultancy can provide the skilled mediation required to strengthen your vendor partnerships. Here are a few of the ways your relationship can go from sweet deal to buyer’s remorse:
- Vendor negativity toward how you choose to implement and deploy your enterprise software
- Buyer remorse as you venture into the fine print of your contract
- Vendor favoritism toward other customers
- User-level disappointment in the ERP project and management
An ideal vendor will give you the best price on the software, and might even throw in a flexible payment plan or a loyalty discount. An ERP system is a large investment that will influence how your company operates for years to come. A good vendor will help you manage your immediate cash flow and guarantee your future profits.
A vendor should provide wealth and resources that you wouldn’t otherwise have available to your business. Hopefully, your investment comes with access to materials and resources that include best practices, project roadmaps, and user-focused activities that help you find the support you need throughout your ERP implementation.
After the Software, the Software Vendor Relationships
Good relationships result in good business. Many business owners looking to buy an ERP software, like Epicor Kinetic, Epicor Prophet 21, Sage, or SYSPRO, need guidance. Advice is needed when it comes to the business application, and it’s also necessary when it comes to the people behind the software.
Do you need help getting on the same page as your vendor? Contact us, and you’ll find the most helpful consultants in ERP, managed IT, and cloud services for businesses. Are you in a business application deployment or cloud migration dilemma? Click here to watch a video on public vs. private cloud ERP deployment options. EstesGroup has been trusted for nearly two decades by businesses throughout North America. With the experience that has come from our own relationships, we’ll help you build and manage yours throughout your ERP or technology project.