You have a choice to make when you pick an ERP solution for your company. 1/ Buy the solution from a software publisher and hire an integration consultant. But having three people in a marriage can be tricky. 2/ A better, easier and more effective option is to choose someone who does both: a software company who’ll also integrate the solution.
Simplifying the ERP rollout
Picking a software package is the easy part. It gets tricky when you have to set it up – especially if you want to get it right. There’s no doubt that ERP integration consultants know what they are doing, but they don’t know the ERP application inside out like publishers do:
- How far can you push the tool?
- How can you tailor it to your needs?
- Where do its weaknesses lie?
Working directly with a software compagny who is also an integration specialist leads to easier implementation, tailored to suit your every wish.
ERP rollout is no mean feat, so why make it even harder by introducing stumbling blocks that slow down your rollout? As good as integration specialists are, they are still just intermediaries between you and the vendor. And a software publisher can hardly create the adequate solution for you if you’re not in direct contact with them.
Read also: The Agility of a Business is Down to its ERP Software.
Creating a channel of direct communication
Communication is key. You have to be able to communicate freely with your ERP software company. But, when you entrust your needs to an integration specialist, both parties forgo this direct contact and the two main advantages it brings: straightforward communication and confidence in your relationship. Of course, there are other indirect ways of communicating (email, forums, etc.), but they are obviously less effective.
It’s all the more important that integration isn’t a one-off event. The installation of a software package is followed by a series of short-term interventions to roll out specific modules. Here, your particular fields and working practices require ongoing work and you should be able to work very closely with your software publisher and integration specialist.
Read also: Best Practice for ERP Implementation – A Little Reminder.
Choosing a hybrid solution
Sometimes, software publishers can’t offer integration for the ERP solution you have chosen. They don’t all have huge numbers of consultants available to answer every query, wherever in the world.
That’s why there’s a hybrid solution: consultants (or even project managers) from the integration company but who work under the software publisher’s instructions. This option means that the software company is involved throughout the rollout, even in real-time services, without your service provider needing infinite resources.
You should always opt for an ERP professional who knows the software like the back of their hand and will be able to configure it according to your specific needs. Ideally, this professional would be the software company or a team of integration consultants working under their instructions. Thus approach is a prerequisite if you want to get your ERP rollout just right.