You did your research. You know you want to leverage more efficient technology to better manage and control supply chain, production, planning, financial and project management processes – and more. You realize a highly flexible and scalable business software solution will empower your organization for even greater success. You are ready to make the move to an ERP system. Now what? Facing the realization of implementing an ERP solution is only half the equation when it comes to ensuring a successful deployment of your next-level operational standard. When implementing an ERP solution, the partner you select is just as critical, if not more so, than the solution you intend to utilize. Purchasing and implementing an ERP system is a complex undertaking, requiring technological leadership – and partnering – to ensure success.

Selecting an ERP implementation partner: 10 Musts!

1. Are They Experts? Is the ERP solution provider a true ERP expert? The organization must fully understand your pain points and the most effectual and valid utilization of the ERP solution you have in mind. Their level of product expertise and understanding of your business operations and productivity goals needs to be superior to tailor the ERP solution to fit your unique business needs. Only an ERP solution provider with a strong combination of technology expertise and business management knowledge will be a true ERP implementation partner.

2. Did They Map Your Processes? By mapping business processes a company can illuminate best practice routes and fully optimize the functionality and workflow delivered by an ERP system. You are moving in the direction of an ERP solution because you want to elevate business process efficiency and improve the utilization of data throughout your organization. A true ERP partner will work to diligently map out your processes to ensure the most effective deployment of your ERP solution.

3. Look for Professionalism! What is the attitude and track record of your potential ERP partner? What kind of customer service do they give you? For an ERP implementation to be advantageous there needs to be an authority streaming from the ERP provider. Are they passionate about what ERP can do for your business operations? ERP partners not only deliver technological expertise and business planning and production understanding, they also need to be communication masters – providing full transparency and guidance throughout an implementation. The best ERP implementations are delivered by experts with high professionalism at all times.

4. Training and Support Resources – Good? The best ERP partners deliver ongoing training and support resources, dedicated to determining a positive implementation process. The right ERP partner will not support your implementation on a selective basis – but a 24/7 partnership. ERP partners that support a methodology of training and support are dedicated to the technological advancement of your business.

5. Are They ERP Visionaries? ERP software solutions promote visibility throughout the entire organization, allowing decision makers to improve business operations such as; inventory management, accounting, order management, human resources, supply chain, product lifecycle, customer relationship management (CRM) among others. ERP software should serve as the focal point for managing all important aspects of a business. If your future ERP partner has full command of all the best ways to leverage ERP for your business, you are in great shape. Only leading ERP partners maximize all nuances of ERP appropriately to meet specific industry and operational requirements. When seeking an ERP partner, look for a visionary – not just a vendor.

6. What’s Their Track Record? When searching for the right ERP partner, ask questions – and investigate their track record. Do they have experience in your industry? What customer testimonials, case studies and direct client recommendations can they readily share? It is crucial the ERP partner you select understands your market, as well as your company’s operational requirements. If the ERP partner you are evaluating has helped many businesses just like yours, you are in good hands.

7. Are You Impressed? It’s important to not only be impressed with the ERP solution you intend to implement, but the ERP partner you intend to entrust with the task. Does the ERP partner candidate have exceptional leadership? Are key leaders ERP implementation veterans with established thought leadership in the ERP market?When selecting an ERP implementationpartner, you are selecting to begin a relationship, one that should be based on your confidence in your intended partner. If you are impressed…that’s a great sign!

8. You Get Answers – Fast. You have questions. You want answers. Your ideal ERP partner will provide clear and extensive answers to your questions. Whether it’s sharing observations on the latest technology buzz or offering tips for increasing your ERP capabilities to meet the demands of mobile users – employees and clients – your best ERP partner will be filled with answers to help you make the most of your ERP investment.

9. They Care About Your Managers. ERP software solutions present a way for business managers to use interconnected dashboards to quickly analyze, report, and improve business performance across the entire organization. Your ERP partner of choice will want your business managers to utilize your ERP solution to its fullest potential. With the integration of otherwise disparate systems and processes, ERP systems improve communication between all aspects of a business from customer service, to accounting, to human resources. ERP systems automate manual business tasks and processes to create a streamlined, cost-efficient organization that promotes productivity. For an ERP partner to be a true partner, they must have the expertise and interest to engage your managers – propagating a true company acceptance of a better way to do business.

10. Your ERP Partner Is Long-Term!  An ERP implementation is a process, one that impacts everything from quality and control improvement to inventory and warehouse management, product tracking, budgeting and forecasting, project management and more. It is imperative the ERP partner you embrace is a long-term alliance. ERP partners must be vigilant and dedicated to your operation’s success down the road, not just for today. Your ERP implementation will be highly successful if the ERP partner you select is not only informative and cooperative, but also devoted. Your implementation partner must care about the nature of your business and the challenges and opportunities your business will face down the road. If your ERP partner is dedicated to a long-term relationship, you will reap the benefits of a successful ERP implementation – and a technology alliance that will serve you for many years to come.