Many people are under a false pretense when it comes to consultants. We are not glorified advice-givers. We are not strictly motivated by money. And we actually do care about our clients no matter how deep their pocketbooks are. However, the biggest misconception is that you are weak if you need to hire a consultant instead of figuring it out internally.
It is important to know that hiring an independent consultant does not signify weakness, it actually shows strength. Undertaking a digital transformation or ERP implementation is not a project for rookies. You are messing with the future of your company. These projects are incredibly time consuming and it is not just for a couple of months. These projects take a lot of time to plan for and then even longer to execute. You have to look at the resources you have on hand. After that, you have to look at what experience these people have with these types of projects. Chances are, it’s not much.
Think about it this way, if you haven’t used Excel in ten years, are you really going to remember the best way to create a spreadsheet? Chances are, you are going to ask someone with experience making spreadsheets for help. Now think of how massive this implementation or transformation is on a scale of Excel to the innovation of your company. This needs to be handled with care and by the best talent there is to offer. However, not every consultant is going to work. You need to find the one who will fit in with the culture your company has worked so hard to create. You don’t want a connection with your consultant to feel like fitting a square peg into a round hole. It needs to be a comfortable fit with someone who truly has a vested interest in the same (or maybe even better) goals you have.
It is also important to remember that with all things, consultants included, you get what you pay for. This project is going to shape the future of your company, it is not the time to bargain hunt. Organizations should not pass by qualified consultants simply because of their price. When you hire a consultant, it’s because of their specialization and domain knowledge. These consultants are a certain cost because they fully understand the technical and functional aspects of a business and are on-site to help solve problems that are unable to be solved internally.
It is also important to remember that if your executives or IT department does not have experience picking out these types of software, there is going to be an internal bias. People are going to have a preconceived notion of “what they’ve heard” or “this other company did this and it worked for them.” The issue is, even though that specific software may have worked for someone else or you have a software vendor of choice, that software may or may not actually best fit your company’s needs. With a consultant on board, they will look at your company as is, align your goals and then find the best software fit for you. They will also hold the vendors to follow specific scripts so that they don’t try to wow you with a bunch of options that are not necessary for your company. Panorama even has relationships with vendors and can negotiate a better price for the software.
Think about the last time your company implemented a major system change. For many of you, it may have been ten years ago or more. Maybe never. Consultants do this for a living. They eat, sleep and breathe ERP. Bringing in a consulting firm does not make you weak, it just shows that you want this to get done right and right the first time.