Take a moment to think about beneficial, sustained business relationships you’ve established or had the good fortune to participate in. Many factors contribute to the success of the relationship, such as the business partner or individuals providing the product or service, price, quality of work, business alignment. All of which have played a critical role in your business relationships, but none so much as partner integrity.
Given the complexity, time, and financial investment involved, business partner integrity is critical in any successful ERP implementation. Unfortunately, ERP implementations have a reputation for delays, cost overruns, questionable ROI, and failure to meet objectives. You can avoid these problems by working with an ERP implementation partner whose approach to project management is grounded in integrity. A partner with this ethic strives to understand your unique business needs and implement the solution that best addresses those current needs and anticipates future growth. They communicate honestly and accurately throughout the entire project and ensure that implementation goals have been achieved before the final project sign-off.
Integrity Is the Key to a Successful ERP Implementation
Successful ERP implementations require a partner who understands the long-term benefits of investing time to fully understand your business needs, and to taking a step back to closely and systematically evaluate the current state of the business. This in-depth evaluation identifies otherwise overlooked risk factors that could negatively impact the implementation, the Go-Live, and performance of the final system. A knowledgeable, engaged, and straightforward partner would highlight those factors and proposes plans to mitigate those issues.
Plan for Current and Future Business Needs
An ERP partner with your best interests in mind focuses on immediate and future business needs, developing and implementing a plan that addresses the present and anticipates the future. For example, immediate governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) needs may focus on the creation of access controls and process controls to establish stronger security policies and clearer segregation of duties. Anticipating future mergers and acquisitions, the result of expansion into new markets or geographies, a conscientious ERP partner ensures that governance, risk, and compliance functionality will also accommodate eventual changes to policies and controls without disrupting business continuity.
An organization expanding beyond domestic markets and taking its first steps in global trade benefits from an ERP partner who understands the intricacies of working with foreign suppliers and customers, your expanding company global footprint, and the importance of complying with numerous regulations governing supply chains. An experienced ERP partner knows how to implement global trade services functionality (GTS) to meet current global import and export requirements, and how to establish the framework to enable expansion into new markets for new products. A conscientious partner would take into consideration the direction of your business and design your global trade initiative to be adaptable for possible future events such as mergers and acquisitions and divestitures, new operations in other countries, and more.
Set Realistic Expectations
As a result of investing the time to assess your business needs in-depth, an honest ERP partner will set realistic expectations, advising you what can and cannot be accomplished. In some instances, initial recommendations may cost more than you initially anticipated, but in the long run, will deliver substantial savings.
Integrity Means Full Disclosure Of All Actions And Activities
A successful ERP implementation is built on transparent communication, with a clear and detailed explanation why specific recommendations are being made. Here, not only the technical expertise in implementing ERP functionality like governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) or global trade services (GTS) but also the industry experience contributes to success. An ERP partner with your best interests in mind will explain:
- How participation in certain preferential treatment programs can reduce taxes and duties associated with your global trade activities.
- How regulations of specific partner government agencies (PGAs) such as US Department of Agriculture, US Department of Commerce, and US Department of Treasury affect your trade practices and how ERP functionalities can help you comply with those regulations.
- How the audit capabilities enabled by ERP governance, risk, and compliance functionality can deliver significant time and cost savings for individual departments and the enterprise.
- The rationale, based on budget, schedule, or risk factors identified in the initial business assessment, for implementing ERP modules or functionalities in a prioritized sequence.
- The best strategy for developing or modifying security policies in anticipation of a pending merger or acquisition.
Although ERP modules and functionalities cover a broad range of business requirements, situations arise where standard ERP functionalities cannot completely meet your business needs. In those instances, the ERP partner will point out the limitations and recommend the best possible alternative(s).
Successful ERP Implementation: Integrity Means Goals Achieved
Successful ERP implementations require far more than the installation of the specified ERP software. Other ERP partner responsibilities factor in a successful ERP implementation. A conscientious ERP implementation partner understands the importance and value of:
- Providing detailed documentation regarding ERP integration and functionality for administrators and end users;
- Ensuring that system administrators and end users understand the functionality of the software and can demonstrate competence in its use through hands-on training; and
- Encouraging extensive hands-on software testing to ensure the software fulfills business requirements before going live.
When integrity permeates every aspect of an ERP partner’s implementation approach, from initial business assessment through final sign-off, you are assured that your unique business needs are being addressed. Your system will be made using best practices that account for known software limitations and pitfalls. Combined with industry-specific knowledge, you’ll get a successful ERP implementation that delivers continuing value and benefit.