Tips for Hiring an ERP Contractor or ERP Consultant
“Supposing is good, but finding out is better.” – Mark Twain
You have decided you need to explore your options for hiring an ERP Contractor / ERP Consultant. There are several reasons why you came to this conclusion. You are about to implement a new ERP system. Your implementation was just completed and you need further customizations or integrations. Perhaps it’s been a while since you completed the implementation and your ERP system just isn’t doing what you want it to do. We are going to explore two essential tips for hiring an ERP Contractor or ERP Consultant.
By this point in the process, you already done some of the work. You have determined that you do not need to add a full-time employee to your staff. Additionally, you hopefully have a budget in mind for the project or projects you need completed (if you don’t, we’ll dive into the costs of hiring in a few weeks, so keep an eye out!). So how do you hire an ERP Contractor or ERP Consultant for the job?
One of the first things you need to do is answer three basic questions about your needs:
What ERP System / Technologies are you working with?
Whether you are working with Acumatica, Epicor, MS 365 / Dynamics, Sage, NetSuite or any other ERP System, you will want to find an expert Contractor already skilled in your ERP. You don’t have the time or the budget you would with a full-time hire to spend getting someone up to speed on your ERP system. Additionally, many ERP systems can’t do absolutely everything you want them to do. You may need to have your temporary ERP Contractor integrate additional tools for your business. These can be proprietary tools, Electronic Data Interchange, eCommerce, Payroll programs, etc. You need someone proficient with these technologies and you should expect them to come in ready to hit the ground running.
What industry defines your business?
Whether you are in construction, real estate, warehousing, retail, or shipping & receiving, you want an expert ERP Consultant who is familiar with your industry. Implementing or configuring an ERP system to your business’ needs requires expertise in your industry. For example, someone in the healthcare industry requires very different reports, views, and add-ons than someone in construction or equipment rental. Finding an expert in your field will save you time and money with your project.
What is the scope of the work to be done?
You can find an ERP Contractor to perform any number of tasks from implementation, to data gathering and data migration, to custom views and custom reports, to add-on integrations and even training documentation and troubleshooting. Knowing the full scope of the work you need done will not only help you decide on the right ERP Consultant, but will also help them to give you a more accurate quote of the time needed to complete the project and estimated cost for their services.
Now that you know what you need, how do you find the best ERP Contractor or ERP Consultant for the job? There are really two areas of best practices – researching and interviewing.
Fair warning – this can take up a lot of your time. There are staffing companies that make this job much easier for you. You do still need to research those companies. Many recruiting or staffing agencies will tell you on their website what ERP Systems their Contractors / Consultants work with. This typically includes the industries they work in and the projects they perform. If you have any questions you don’t see on their webpage, most agencies either have search fields you can utilize. There’s usually a contact form to fill out so someone from their agency can follow up with you about your needs and the Contractor(s) they have who can do the job.
For example, we have public profiles of our available Contractors on our website. You can quickly see their roles, years of experience, availability, geographic location, and their technical skills. If you like what you see, you can easily request more information, including setting up an interview, which leads us to the second best practice.
An ERP Contractor or ERP Consultant is just like a short-term employee. They are just as essential to the successful operation of your business, but on a project-by-project basis. Just like you would interview any full-time employee joining your organization, you should interview your potential ERP Consultant to really make sure they understand the scope of the work that needs to be done. You also want to walk away from the interview completely comfortable with the Contractor and confident in their abilities to do the job.
In your search to find the right staffing company or Consultant, you will also be faced with the option of working with a locally based person or an off-shore person or team. I’m sure you have heard some of the common concerns regarding working with an off-shore team. We’ll address those in our next article.
There are a lot of independent ERP Contractors out there, and there are a lot of staffing & recruiting firms. It can easily get overwhelming as this is an important component to the future success of your operation. Just to give you an idea, Googling “Where to find an ERP developer” will give you over 29,200,000 results. Searching for “The best ERP staffing agencies” gives you over 26,400,000 results and there are just as many posts dealing with ERP software instead of staffing agencies or consultants. Here’s a list of sites that compare some of the best staffing agencies to help you get started: i-Recruit.com, UpCity.com, and themanifest.com.
In another effort to save you some time, if you Google “Best Acumatica ERP staffing agency,” DyNexus Group is the first result (#humblebrag). When making your decision of who to work with, just remember that you both have the same goal in mind: if this project goes well, we can work together on future projects. So, do your research, interview your potentials, and you’ll have a much better chance of finding the right person for the job.