The Importance of Independence in ERP Software Selection

ERP software selection intimidates many organizations. One of the most challenging aspects of an ERP implementation is selecting software that supports your organization’s business processes and helps your organization achieve measurable improvements. Even more challenging? Finding a truly independent ERP consultant to help you through the process.

When selecting enterprise software that meets your organization’s business requirements, it helps to seek advice from an independent third-party with a breadth of knowledge about all potential ERP vendors. A partner with a technical implementation focus or a practice related to a particular vendor might lack both this breadth of knowledge and the objectivity necessary for ERP success. On the other hand, a partner with a vendor-agnostic approach will be more equipped to provide your organization with a thorough ERP provider assessment.

In the consulting world, “independent” refers to the level of association a firm has with specific ERP vendors. If a firm is independent that means that it has no association with specific vendors and, therefore, no potential for conflicts of interest.

Independent ERP consultants have a different revenue model than software-specific consultants. Because they don’t profit from selling as much software as possible, independent consultants can focus on the true needs of their customers and help them select the “best fit” software – not the software that will lead to the most follow-on work. Independent consultants do not encourage the selection of a particular software system merely because it contributes to their own bottom line.

When it comes down to it, an independent consultant should not necessarily recommend that your organization implements ERP software in the first place. If your organization’s business processes are not optimized, an independent consultant likely will not recommend an ERP software package until those processes are evaluated and, if necessary, reengineered at a high level. Because independent consultants don’t make money from software sales, there is no conflict of interest when determining whether or not your business is ready for ERP. They understand that no ERP system, no matter how advanced, automatically fixes inefficient business processes. This is why many independent consultants emphasize the importance of focusing on business process reengineering and organizational change management before software selection.

Selecting the right ERP software requires the unbiased advice of a firm that wants to see your organization succeed – not just spend money. An independent ERP consulting firm, like Panorama, has the expertise necessary to guide your organization through a successful and unbiased software selection. Our approach is based on our extensive research revealing the difficulty of ERP selection and pointing to the necessity of independence.

To learn more download our new white paper, Guide to Choosing an ERP Implementation Partner. Also, be sure to download our newly released 2013 ERP Report for insight into organizations’ positive and negative experiences with ERP consultants.

Written by Jennifer Aldrich

As a creative and analytical-minded digital content strategist, Jennifer is experienced in writing, data analysis, communication strategy and social media. As the Marketing Lead at Panorama, Jennifer supports all of the company’s marketing and content development initiatives and regularly writes blog posts about best practices in organizational change management and other ERP implementation components. Jennifer holds a BA in Public Relations from Colorado State University.

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