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5 Tips To Hunt Down The Ultimate NetSuite ERP Implementation Partner

When it comes to selecting which NetSuite Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution is right for you, it’s just as important to choose the right Netsuite implementation partner. An ERP implementation can be expensive and complicated, and if a potential partner or ERP provider is pitching to you the idea that it’s not… that’s a trap. Run away.

A modern ERP solution is a cloud-based platform that incorporates all aspects of the business, from finance and supply chain to operations, reporting, procurement, and manufacturing. In the past, it was extremely expensive to maintain multiple databases on-premises.

Now that companies can use a cloud ERP system, it becomes more cost-effective and simpler to manage that information bonanza. ERP software improves communication and jumpstarts visibility across departments, which boosts internal collaboration.

Employees at all levels, across all functions of a business, need to be informed and trained on the new or upgraded system so you can give the ERP implementation project the best chance of success. A successful ERP implementation is about the business and not the technology.

Discovering an ERP implementation partner who understands business process engineering, lean manufacturing, industry best practices, project management and organisational change management is a very large component of a successful ERP software evaluation and selection process.

So, beyond the obvious criteria of having the right industry experience, how do you make sure you don’t end up in a financial bodybag and choose the right NetSuite partner for your ERP implementation?

Here are five things to consider along with some shrewd questions to ask.

1. Can the partner bring breakthrough insights about your business to the table right from the start?

When you’re scouting a potential NetSuite implementation partner, the demo is a special opportunity that will give you a good indication if they will be a good fit for your digital transformation journey.

A potential ERP partner should come to the demonstration with important questions about system issues you have had in the past. This shows you that they are interested in getting to the heart of your business pain so they can provide a solution that fits perfectly.

It is important that an ERP implementation partner understands where your business is struggling because, while some can manage with out of the box solutions, often you will need unexpected third party solutions to plug any gaps. Those can create multiple points of potential failure. If a partner gets a clear understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish, they will perform not only as an implementation partner but as a trusted advisor who can help steer future software decisions that meet your ERP requirements and add to your bottom line.

  • Have they worked with systems similar to yours?
  • What is their past experience in your industry?
  • Do they understand your industry and the challenges or trends?
  • Can they clearly demonstrate their understanding of your business?
  • Do they have an agile discovery methodology to properly understand your business?

2. Did the ERP partner take time to understand the specific needs of individual employees?

If a potential implementation partner wants to meet with your employees to find out how their individual needs would be met by the ERP system, it is a good sign they’re the right partner for your business. A partner needs to understand which employees will benefit from the software, from daily tasks and frustrations to what they do and don’t like about the current systems and software.

The goal is to set employees up for success using the technology. Without full visibility of a business and its employees’ needs, an ERP implementation partner cannot understand how to help users or grow a mutually beneficial partnership via a successful implementation.

  • What is their methodology for diagnosing and analysis of the scope of the project?
  • Can they show you their design process that integrates the needs, processes, procedures and vendor product?
  • How is system training for employees rolled out? Is it progressive at each milestone, or do they wait until the system has been implemented and do a training session at hand-over?

3. Do potential partners have a vision beyond the implementation?

Any implementation services provider can set your company’s ERP system up, but it takes a real partner to help unlock revenue streams, maximise ROI and improve customer loyalty. They are an untapped resource.

There are a few questions to consider:

  • Does the potential partner have a perspective on what comes after the implementation project has been completed?
  • How does this vision align with your business priorities?
  • Is the partner able to provide in-depth training and support following the project?

Your implementation partner may be with you for the life of your system because of the way software licensing works. However, if your partner has little or no interest in continuing to connect and build a relationship with you, beyond the license fees you pay every month or year, then they’re not really a true partner.

4. Does the partner have a clear ERP implementation communication plan?

Communication is one of the biggest keys to the success of an implementation project. A few things to consider about the ERP implementation you select:

  • Are they willing to communicate with your team on a regular basis based on your timelines?
  • Can they clearly outline their communication plan for your project?

With a clear communication schedule, a partner can also easily gather the information they need to ensure the solution they’re implementing is the right fit and adjusts to the changing needs of the business. A detailed plan demonstrates a partner’s willingness to connect and build a relationship with your employees, and stakeholders, so they are involved with the implementation every step of the way. Each department and user must feel that their needs are going to be met by this new data system.

5. Will the partner have the right people on your project?

During implementation, you will be working very closely with the partner for a period of time, so it is important that both the partner and yourself have the right people on the project who can relate and communicate openly, freely and in a timely structured manner to ensure success of the ERP implementation. Project management and functional knowledge are two vital skill sets, so it’s important to select an ERP implementation partner whose Project Manager is adept in project and programme management. You want to work with a Project Manager whose strengths include:

  • Project plan management
  • Risk mitigation
  • Dealing with business challenges
  • Stakeholder conflict management
  • Customer relationship management
  • Operational efficiency

The projects that are staffed with the best a partner has to offer happen because the customer has taken the time to vet who will be part of the project. An implementation partner may be able to demonstrate they have the right experience, but the people they select or have available, may not be the best fit. A good implementation partner should provide the CVs of the team members who will be working on your project, and these people are the actual people who are offering professional services on your project from start to finish; and beyond. The partner should be able to state who is responsible for each part of the implementation process, and what is required by your team.

  • What is the partner’s track record for successful ERP implementation and customer support?
  • Can they demonstrate their knowledge and experience with NetSuite ERP?
  • Is it clear that they are working with third-party providers in any way?
  • What about industry standards and expertise?

Likewise, it is equally important to staff the project with the best of your own employees and include measures to reward their success. Employees who want to help move the implementation project forward will take data quality seriously before, during and after an ERP implementation. Lack of internal team collaboration and input into the project can delay the project achievements, blow out the budget and quickly degrade performance and user adoption once live.

Summary

Don’t become a victim. ERP software systems are complex. Therefore, choosing the right implementation partner is vital, without the right partner you risk an ERP implementation failure. More than 50% of ERP implementations fail every year.

If you take the time to ask the right questions and know what to look for, you will give your ERP implementation project the best chance of success and connect with the right long-term trusted technology advisor for your business.

Analyst firm Gartner estimates that an ERP project has a 55% to 70% failure risk and it won’t meet the set objectives. Whether the ERP software project is a few months or a few years long, whether it’s an upgrade or a new implementation, the financial and cultural well-being of the entire organisation is at stake and the associated costs of failure range from disruptive to catastrophic. Some firms have closed permanently as a result of a bad ERP implementation, so the choice of the right potential ERP implementation partner is key.

Changing to a new NetSuite ERP solution, or changing to a new ERP partner, can be challenging. However, remember the 6 P’s of success … Prior planning prevents poor partner performance. With the right partner working side-by-side with your team when you implement NetSuite, your business growth can expand exponentially.

Do you have questions about NetSuite?

On-premise ERP system customers are now facing the decision to undergo a multi-step transition, ring-fence the old ERP and buy a lot of bolt-on solutions for cloud, innovation and business requirements; or implement a modern ERP solution that really takes advantage of external data and advanced tools for growth, agility and sustainability.

The OneKloudX team is here to provide the information you need with confidence. If you are looking for a scalable cloud-based solution with a full set of advanced production planning tools that have been designed specifically to meet the needs of modern companies, the experienced and accredited OneKloudX team has the skills and is ready to help you with your ERP selection. Contact the OneKloudX team on info@onekloudx.com.au or call 1800 155 683 to talk to a Senior NetSuite Consulting Team Member.  As a cutting-edge NetSuite implementation partner, our Flexsafe methodology enjoys a 100% success rate.  We are happy to answer your questions about NetSuite Cloud ERP.

Do you want more information about NetSuite Cloud ERP?

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