5 Key Qualities You Want in an ERP Consultant on Your Implementation

5 Key Qualities You Want in an ERP Consultant on Your Implementation

By Dynexus Group, Inc

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

The amount of global data is projected to grow to 180 zettabytes by 2025, so it’s becoming increasingly important for businesses to have the tools to harness that information so they can get straight to the insights they need to perform better. For most companies operating in our data-driven society, the right ERP software can be the key to successful business intelligence (BI). So, when using these systems is vital, why do ERP implementations fail so often? Frankly, the process is a challenge, but it can be pretty straightforward when an ERP consultant focuses on the right issue. Instead of fixating on the ERP solution based on “what” it can do, try looking at “why” it can suit a business’s unique needs will make all the difference.

A Great Implementation Starts Earlier

Before you even start to select your ERP solution and begin setup, you need to make sure you have an experienced ERP implementation professional who also understands, and has analyzed your business processes on your team. Seems like a no-brainer, but this is also where implementation troubles can start. While we assume you are working with a partner or VAR to implement your ERP, too often the internal ERP consultant or implementer (whether already on your team or hired externally) will default to what they know about the solution and assume it covers all the bases for a business. It’s quick and easy to make assumptions, but the one-size-fits-all approach often leads to that high number of failed implementations because there’s a mismatch between how the ERP is implemented and how the company will use it.

To choose your internal ERP implementer or external ERP consultant that will work with your partner and represent your needs in the implementation process, you want someone that asks, “Why?”. Someone thinking things like:

  • Why does your business need a new ERP solution right now? Are there specific pain points it needs to address or internal processes to improve?
  • Why was this specific ERP chosen? Does it have unique capabilities that should be leveraged or does the VAR partner bring specific skills to the table?

Asking these questions means they’re getting to know your business better. When implementers don’t develop that intimate understanding, that’s when ERP implementations fail. You need an expert, not only with ERP solutions but also with your company.

Hiring the Right Expert

While we say you need the best person for the job, that’s easier said than done, right? Luckily, we’ve recruited a few ERP implementation experts in our time. Whether choosing from your current internal team, hiring for a long-term position or using our ERP staffing practice, we look for the following 5 aspects in promising candidates:

Your Interviewee Is Inquisitive

During the interview process, if your candidate is asking a lot of questions, chances are “Why?” will be one of them. inquisitive people are genuinely interested in understanding you and your business. That often means they’ll invest themselves in their work and make sure they learn the intricacies that will guarantee a successful ERP implementation.

Your Interviewee Also Listens

You don’t want someone that’s all talk either, though. They can ask all the questions they want but if they aren’t really listening, it’ll still result in a poor implementation process. A good listener can help align your goals, budget, and requests with the scope of your implementation process so you come out happy.

Your Interviewee Can Prove Their Understanding

With the above boxes ticked, you have a promising-looking candidate but now it’s time to test what they’ve asked and learned. Give them a shot at showcasing their ability to understand your business processes and how they can provide solutions that can assure successful ERP implementation. At this point, you’ll start to see if they really know their stuff and can suggest the right way to leverage or tailor the ERP solution for your business’s needs and goals, instead of fixating on the technical aspects of a particular piece of software. If you feel they can tailor-make a solution that fits your business, that’s a good feeling.

Your Interviewee Can Face Discomfort

Challenge their comfort zone and try to stump them. We don’t mean in a weird way, this is still HR, but ask a couple hard questions that put them on the spot and see how they navigate them. If they thrive in the unknown and prove their adaptability, your ERP consultant is more likely to weather the challenges an ERP implementation for your company can throw at them. Throughout the implementation, there will be random questions from you and your team, technology not performing as expected, opportunities for customization, and more that will demand their attention. You want a change leader who can face the unknown with confidence and composure.

Your Interviewee Can Deal With Failure

Fear of failure is very real and understandable, so you want to find out how your candidate handles it. When someone shuts down in the face of failure or avoids discussing failure, there’s no room for growth. Setbacks are an inevitable part of the ERP implementation process. If your candidate is someone who sees the learning opportunity and embraces the chance to improve after a failure means they’ll likely overcome whatever snafus an implementation throws at them. As Julian Schrenzel, our President, comments, “Anyone can learn to wax philosophically on the futures of any given ERP in any given industry, but the person with the skills to know the BUSINESS, and THEN navigate the complex waters of integrating a new tech into an existing business, is worth their weight in gold.”

When 74.3% of businesses experience overall improvements to their productivity and efficiency, amongst other areas post-ERP implementation, it’s a shame that so many fail. The fact is ERP solutions come in all shapes and sizes. So, it’s crucial to work with an expert who takes time to understand the scope of your project, its budget, your timeline, and what you hope to achieve, and is adaptable enough to throw all that away when things need to pivot for the good of the implementation. That all starts with them wondering, “Why?”, so consider the above 5 aspects as you wade into the hiring process to help you find that standout ERP consultant for your implementation. We’re also here to help find the pros you need, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us about recruiting or more questions about your hiring process.

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