Why do you need an ERP Consultant?

An ERP System is just a software tool. It's about processes and people!

Why should you use an ERP Consultant? ERP systems are becoming easier to use and you can start using an online ERP system with just a few clicks. But is it wise to start without help? An ERP System is just a tool. In this blog my vision on why you should always use an ERP consultant.

An ERP system online is simple, isn't it?

More and more companies are seeing the benefits of an ERP Systeem and in doing so, these packages are becoming increasingly accessible and easier to use. Every software supplier offers a demonstration environment and you can explore the ERP system at your leisure. If you like the software, you can often immediately take out a subscription and you are ready to start. 

But are you ready to start? No, you will have to set up the package and populate it with data. An ERP system can and does nothing without you telling it what to do and how. The ERP systeem is just a tool, a tool to help you manage your business processes. And that's exactly what it's about. It is about processes and people and not about the ERP System itself. You will have to place your business processes in the ERP System and you will have to educate and train the users of the system. This is the field of an ERP consultant.

But an online ERP system is very simple, isn't it? Can't I do that myself? Unfortunately, it is often underestimated, online ERP systems also have the necessary functionality and therefore also complexity.

What are the goals of a company?

What is your business process like? Who is responsible for what? What information do I share with whom and how do we do that? Where are bottlenecks in my current process? Just a few questions to think about. And believe me, there are many more. A lot of thinking precedes the proper and effective use of an ERP system. Stay alert and don't forget, the ERP system is a tool that should contribute to the company's goal. With every choice about a process design and with every question about a desired functionality of the ERP System, always ask yourself; “How does this contribute to the company's goal?”. It is the job of an ERP Consultant to continuously challenge you and ask questions. Why do you want this? What is the goal? Have you looked at these alternatives? Questions you should ask to avoid one of the biggest pitfalls of an ERP system, which is unnecessary complexity.

It's about people and processes

You review your entire company and determine how the ERP System will support the people within the company. Questions you ask yourself are, for example: How is the company situated? What kind of people work there? Who finds change difficult? How do the information flows run? 

You see a lot of support companies offering online help these days. Companies that even claim to supervise an entire implementation online. But how do you properly answer the aforementioned questions? How can you properly advise a company and its employees if you have not seen the company and the people? When it comes to people and processes and the ERP software is a tool that the employees have to use, then you have to be right in the middle of it. You are present in the workplace. Not once, but many more times. Only then can you give good advice and really help people.

Make sure future users of the system are involved. Train them and help them until they enjoy working with the system. Only employees who are made easy will enter that valuable information into an ERP system that you need. If you make it complicated or the goal is not clear, the ERP system will not be used optimally and the information will be incomplete or inaccurate.

Unhappy with your ERP system?

“The system is so rigid, slow and complex”. But users also often have no idea why they perform a certain action or why they enter certain information. Unfortunately, I hear this all too often when I talk to the users of an ERP system at companies. As a result, subsystems (mainly Excel) are used to solve these problems. However, it is often the beginning of the end. Users are dissatisfied and no longer enter the important information into the ERP system. Management no longer uses the ERP system because the information is incomplete. The system is slowly collapsing and the subsystems are winning. Dissatisfaction and inefficiency are only increasing.

The ERP Consultant can help

I started this blog with the question “But is it wise to start without help?”. I believe that a good ERP consultant is indispensable. You have chosen to use a new ERP system and you are at the beginning of a new phase. It is an ERP consultant's daily work to analyze business processes and convert them into a good solution within the ERP system. But the personal contact with the employees, where the consultant helps them in this change process, is also a very important task.

Don't underestimate an  ERP implementation and don't fall into the trap of thinking that good itself is cheaper and more efficient. Of course there are positive outliers, but unfortunately I see things go wrong (too) often. Wrong choices are made and there is not enough time to carry out all work properly and on time. People search online for the right information and a lot of valuable time is lost. Cobbler, stick to your last and let a good ERP consultant help you. An ERP consultant brings you experience, knowledge, peace of mind and ensures a clear planning and progress of your project.

Why do you need an ERP Consultant?
Erwin van der Ploeg May 4, 2019
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