How to Find the Best ERP Software Experts for Your Digital Transformation

Written By: Kyler Cheatham
Date: September 29, 2023

Finding the appropriate third-party ERP experts to assist with your ERP digital transformation journey is crucial. The question arises: how do you identify the best ERP software specialists for your initiative?

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During a digital transformation process and ERP implementation, it is inevitable that external third-party support will be required. However, selecting the best ERP experts to guide you through this process can be challenging. While many ERP specialists excel in their field, some may exhibit bias, prioritizing the deployment of technology over aligning with your specific business objectives. This discussion aims to address the factors you should consider and evaluate when choosing potential third-party ERP experts.

Beware of The Echo Chamber

When considering potential ERP experts, it is essential to be cognizant of the echo chamber that pervades the industry. This echo chamber can lead to challenges. Numerous consultants, due to their alignment and affiliation with specific software vendors, often serve as extensions of those vendors' marketing and sales teams. Consequently, this creates a repetitive narrative from consultants within certain verticals, emphasizing vendor marketing messages. Such an environment can lead to blind spots that obscure the risks associated with software deployments.

It's paramount to evaluate both the strengths and weaknesses of any ERP system under consideration. While a particular technology might align perfectly with your needs, it remains essential to understand its risks and deficiencies. This understanding enables organizations to address those challenges proactively. However, a significant concern is that many ERP experts, if biased towards a particular software, may not be motivated or inclined to reveal the software's shortcomings to potential clients. Their primary objective may lean towards highlighting the software's merits.

Therefore, when evaluating potential ERP experts, it is imperative to select those who provide an unbiased perspective, shedding light on both the pros and cons of the technologies you are considering for your organization. Companies like Third Stage, renowned as unbiased ERP experts unaffiliated with software vendors, can serve as invaluable resources in this context.

Seek Breadth of Expertise

When evaluating ERP experts, it is vital to consider the breadth of their expertise. Beyond avoiding consultants who operate within an industry echo chamber, it's crucial to ensure that the experts are not overly focused on a singular aspect of the ERP implementation and software industry. Ideally, consultants should have an understanding of multiple systems, experience with various technologies, and familiarity with diverse functions and modules within different platforms. Engaging consultants who perceive the broader picture and appreciate the multifaceted nature of technology can greatly enhance the likelihood of project success.

Furthermore, it's essential to seek ERP experts who possess more than just technological prowess. Equally significant is their experience in the non-technical aspects of ERP implementations. It's worth noting that these non-technical dimensions are often the most critical success factors for digital transformations. Key attributes include effective program management, an aptitude for rethinking and re-engineering business processes independently of technology, and proficiency in organizational change management, training, and adoption.

When assembling a consulting team for your ERP implementation, it's not merely about assessing specific or isolated skills. Instead, ensure that you gauge the comprehensive range of skills required to ensure the success of your project.

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Don’t Focus On The Lowest Cost

One common misjudgment organizations make is the assumption that hiring ERP experts at a reduced cost will deliver the same quality as more expensive resources in the market. While it's prudent not to overpay for services, there are always less expensive options available. However, rather than solely concentrating on consultants with the most affordable hourly or daily rates, it's crucial to consider the value they bring.

A lesser-known aspect of the consulting industry is that while you might pay a premium hourly or daily rate for highly competent consultants, such professionals may prove more cost-effective in the long run. Their expertise allows them to operate more efficiently and effectively than those less experienced. Hence, when seeking consultants, it's vital to evaluate the broader context and not be solely swayed by an enticing low hourly or daily rate.

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Augment With Non-Technical Experts

When evaluating potential ERP experts, it's essential to examine both the technical and non-technical components of the skill sets they offer. As previously mentioned, competencies such as program management, organizational change management, and business process improvement are pivotal. Alongside these skills, it's beneficial to engage consultants familiar with data migration, system architecture, integration, and the nuances of managing legacy systems – whether that involves decommissioning them or integrating them with new systems. The emphasis should be on ensuring the ERP expert or team possesses a holistic understanding and isn't narrowly focused on a single aspect of ERP implementation.

This perspective underscores the importance of choosing ERP experts equipped to handle both the technical and non-technical facets of implementation.

In conclusion, it's hoped that this information proves beneficial in your quest to identify the right ERP expertise.

I would enjoy brainstorming ideas with you if you are looking to strategize an upcoming transformation or are looking at selecting an ERP system, so please feel free to contact me at eric.kimberling@thirdstage-consulting.com. I am happy to be a sounding board as you continue your digital transformation journey.

Be sure to download the newly released 2024 Digital Transformation Report to garner additional industry insight and project best practices.

Kyler_Cheatham
Kyler Cheatham

Kyler Cheatham is a digital artist and innovator who is always thinking of new ways to improve the world around her. As the Global Marketing Director at Third Stage Consulting, she uses her creativity and tech-savvyness to help businesses reach their target audiences. Kyler is also a thought leader in the digital marketing space, and she loves sharing her knowledge with others. She is also a mother of two young children, which has given her a unique perspective on balancing work and family life.

Author:
Kyler Cheatham
Kyler Cheatham is a digital artist and innovator who is always thinking of new ways to improve the world around her. As the Global Marketing Director at Third Stage Consulting, she uses her creativity and tech-savvyness to help businesses reach their target audiences. Kyler is also a thought leader in the digital marketing space, and she loves sharing her knowledge with others. She is also a mother of two young children, which has given her a unique perspective on balancing work and family life.
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