The Benefits Of Working With An ERP Provider
This sounds ridiculous on the surface, yet most of us are guilty of attempting to do it all on a daily basis. When it comes to working, it is easy to become distracted by the things that are not the focus. This includes everything from accounting, marketing, facilities management, human resources, technology or a hundred other things. On occasion, we all have an epiphany and realize we would be better off letting those who are experts do what they do best. Not only does it take the burden off of you to learn how to do yet another job, but it also allows you to focus on what you do best. In this case, the contractor will typically execute quicker, more efficiently and cost-effectively than you could have. In addition, experts can see the future (except for Beck winning a Grammy. Nobody saw that coming – especially not Kanye), avoiding pitfalls and putting a system or process in place that enables growth. This will allow you to maximize your investment in the areas that fall outside of your expertise but are needed for growth. Below is an outline that will help you determine if you need to work with an ERP provider and how to get the most out of your vendor, specifically your certified Epicor Platinum Partner and ERP provider.
Can I do the job myself?
Define the project
- Goals (sometimes requirements)
- Benefits of the project and perhaps even ROI
- What are the problems I’m trying to solve
- Where is my pain?
Define the resources
- Internal skill sets
- Available capacity of internal resources
- Can I borrow from other departments? This is good, cause there may be limited culture or communication issues if we use internal people from other departments.
Define the holes
- Skill sets
- knowledge (industry or product)
- team building ability
- time (you might have the right people, but they’re all too busy, or managers won’t release them)
OK, so we need help—where can I get it?
Define the help needed
Define how long you need help
Define where you want the help to work
Define how closely you want them aligned and absorbed into your company and culture
Define the nature of the relationship
- Contracted for project life
- Contracted on an hourly/daily basis for specific tasks
Research where the help can come from—the Internet, references from users groups or professional organizations
- Independent firms
- “one-man shops”
Qualify experience, willingness, availability and back-up staff
Will the vendor have access to executives-how often
OK, so we found help, how do I launch them?
Tell them why they were hired
- Why they want the work
Talk to your vendor-identify:
- Terms of service
- How to change the terms of service
- How does the vendor get measured & paid
- How does the vendor raise issues and problems and to whom
- What are the vendor’s role and place on the project team
- How will you review the vendor’s work
- What are the vendor’s documentation responsibilities?
- What collateral do you expect the vendor to have/develop/bring with them
Work with the vendor to develop and agree upon
- Project plan-they should have direct input to their part
- What is the vendor to deliver, how and when
- What tracking and reporting the vendor is responsible for
- Work authorization documents
- Change order documents
- How often to report hours/ send invoices
Share the project metrics defined in 1. above
OK, your vendor is the expert and you hired him to be the expert, so why aren’t you listening?
Don’t second guess your choice, or them
Second opinions should be disclosed
Promote whatever corporate cultural relationship and inclusions are possible
A sidebar of bullet items that vendors bring to the table.
Knowledge of product specific feature/functionality
- What’s a standard product
- What needs customization
- where are the switches
Knowledge of industry best practices
Knowledge of how to do a project successfully
- He’s been doing them and getting out alive for a while now…
- Where to get more help
- When to stop digging the hole
How to work within the framework of what you bought
- What you should not modify (change, customize or custom build)
- How long it will take
Separating Needs/Requirements from Entitlements?
- Defining business issues as separate from workflow or work process issues
- Will the INFORMATION (not data) be there?
as your national and neighborhood ERP provider, we are here to help if you decide you need assistance with the implementation of your ERP. Contact us today and let us know what level of service you need so you can get on with doing everything else.
About Encompass Solutions
Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.
Sonia has served as managing partner of Encompass Solutions since the company was founded in 2001. She began in manufacturing, working on an ERP implementation. From there she became proficient in small business operations, including the development of a standard implementation methodology. As she has grown to take on ever more complex projects—including many for large, multi-national companies—Sonia has (at last count) worked on over 30 implementations in a cross-section of process industries. She is particularly knowledgeable in enterprise-wide integration and the management and support of heavily customized applications.