Let’s face it; software selection is only half the equation when it comes to implementing a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution or upgrading your current solution.
We can say with confidence that Microsoft Dynamics NAV or 365 Business Central will help you become more operationally efficient and productive overall. Built from the same reliable Dynamics NAV infrastructure, these business management products are designed to give you control over your financials, inventory, and supply chain with fully customizable options to cater to your unique needs.
Unfortunately, we can’t say the same about the partner you choose.
The number one reason for ERP software failure usually falls on the shoulders of the solutions partner responsible for the project. Why? Because project planning, installation, implementation, testing, and training is fully reliant on how quickly and effectively a partner is able to help you accomplish these tasks. It requires experience. It requires skill. If there’s a problem, it’s on them to resolve it.
This sounds like a lot of weight to bear, but that’s what we’ve signed up for as a Microsoft Dynamics consulting partner. What you will find in your search for a potential partner, however, is that there are many different approaches to managing a project, implementing an ERP system, and supporting business transformation. Some partners spend more time on planning while others focus on training and adoption. At the end of the day, there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to a partner – but there is a size that will fit your business and its goals better.
Partner Selection: A Risky Affair
While the statistic that nearly 50% of most ERP implementations fail might not scare you, maybe an explanation of what that really means will. A failed ERP implementation is more than just a case of software not working. The amount of time and resources that you and your partner put into preparing processes, migrating data, updating code, and coordinating tasks is not small. You can’t sweep it under the rug and say “Well, we tried.” The long-term consequences of an unsuccessful implementation or upgrade are innumerable and compounding.
Here is what an ERP implementation failure results in if you choose the wrong partner:
When you’re on the precipice of business transformation, time is valuable. There’s usually an urgent reason for implementing or upgrading an ERP solution – you’re missing out on opportunities, you need to streamline processes, you’re growing rapidly, etc. The longer it takes to get to a fully optimized and usable business management solution, the quicker it loses its value.
- Misaligned Expectations
A shiny new ERP system won’t do much good if it doesn’t actually do what is required. Expectations are the root of many failures, where a partner doesn’t have a clear understanding of a clients’ goals or business processes and delivers a solution that the client can’t use. Which is unbelievably heartbreaking because as NAV experts, we know the benefits it can bring to a business.
- Poor Adoption Rate
What good is an ERP solution designed to streamline business processes that your employees don’t know how to use? Or don’t want to use because they don’t see why it’s necessary? Properly educating and training your users is one thing, but there’s a whole other layer to successful software adoption. They need to be involved in the entire process and feel apart of the change.
Complex IT projects, especially those that are over budget and long past their due date, are stressful! They’re stressful on the management team, they’re stressful on the IT team, and they are incredibly stressful on the employees expected to change the way they do their jobs and learn how to use a new system. If your ERP project gets to this point, you’ll likely have a few employees who jump ship.
- Sunk Costs
Ultimately, all of these delays, miscommunications, and employees who got so frustrated they found a new job add up. And you’re stuck with a solution that doesn’t quite fit the way you expected. So you’ve spent the money for no results, but you’re trapped trying to make it work.
7 Tips on How to Select the Right Partner
As veterans in the Dynamics NAV realm, we’ve seen our fair share of implementation and upgrade failures. In fact, a lot of our business has been built on repairing existing Dynamics NAV projects. On these rescue missions, we’ve had the opportunity to learn about it where it all went wrong from these companies themselves. And do you know what it all comes down to? Due diligence.
That’s why we’ve put together a short whitepaper that outlines 7 critical areas to consider during partner selection. You’ll learn what you need to know about your own team and requirements before even looking at what a partner can bring to the table. While we could wait for you to phone us up for a rescue, we want you to get your Dynamics NAV implementation or upgrade right the first time!