Well implemented ERP systems are the lifeline of successful businesses. Their reach should be vast, the data should flow quickly and they should push insightful performance metrics to stakeholders in a timely manner. Getting your ERP to meet these lofty objectives is a challenge that many businesses face.
When we think back on the many projects Joesoftware’s team has completed, we see common threads woven through the best projects and we seek to repeat these positive outcomes as often as possible. One of these success threads is the relationship between our team and our customer. As we analyzed the culture of our best projects, it became obvious that these were very complimentary relationships based on mutual respect, open, honest communication, a focus on achieving a unified goal and an awareness of the complimentary expertise each party brought to any discussion. The result of this culture manifested itself in many ways and always ended with innovative solutions.
Unlike other vendors, your ERP partner should be one of the few companies welcomed into your inner circle of trust. Similar to your board of directors, accountant or lawyer, they will be exposed to the most intricate details of your business ranging from your financial health to employee remuneration and business policies. You will be openly sharing some of your secrets such as competitive advantages and internal weaknesses to mention a couple. As the project advances, their knowledge of the nuances of your business will grow and their ability to match system functionality to business challenges will increase. As your project evolves, the level of trust between the parties needs to be mindfully nurtured and is best accomplished when both parties see it as an intentional objective rather than an unexpected benefit.
Once the initial implementation is finished and trust is established, the best companies recognize and leverage this symbiotic relationship. Business leaders realize they have gained access to highly specialized and experienced resources who have intricate knowledge of capabilities of their software systems that is complimented by operational and financial insight into their company. Using these specialists selectively on teams provides a perspective unmatched by any internal resource at a fraction of the cost of adding similar skills as a full-time employee. Decisions become more robust when they are considered by a team with diverse, complimentary expertise and your ERP partner is a simple addition.
This approach may seem obvious when considering options to change payables processes for increased efficiency; however, it is equally valid when discussing union negotiations to provide perspective on magnitude of complexity on each proposed contract change, to provide insight into team readiness/implications on prospective new business activities or to assist with infrastructure vendor selections. As someone who has broad insight into your business, information systems and IT best practices, your ERP partner can provide unequaled value when you see them as one of your trusted business advisors.