Maybe you’ve grown to the point that not having an ERP is slowing you down, or maybe you’re trying to get ahead of the curve to prepare for future growth. Either way, you might be sitting in the very tricky position of figuring out how to make your first move on a long and winding ERP journey.

Choosing an ERP is no small task – it’s a strategic commitment that’s going to have huge impacts on your business for years to come. And that’s why just about any advisor out there will encourage you to seek out an experienced ERP partner to help with the transition. 

But be warned…choose wisely! 

Finding the right partner isn’t just about how well they understand ERPs (though that’s important too!), but also about how well they listen, adapt, and work with you and your organisation. Remember, implementing an ERP isn’t a one-off deal – it’s a long-term strategic partnership. 

If you’re wondering where to even start with this kind of decision, here are a few crucial questions that will give you a great foundation to start thoroughly screening your potential partners.

1. What relevant experience do you have in the New Zealand and Australian markets?

Sure, big multinational corporates have their place, but they can also be a little out of touch with our business needs down here on the upside down of the world. Be sure to dig around in the history of your future ERP partner. Figure out where they’ve worked, who they’ve partnered with, and what kinds of projects they have experience handling. 

We really can’t overstate it: Be confident that your ERP partner has enough similar industry experience to understand your business, work seamlessly in your company culture, and deliver the specific kind of support you need. If there’s a mismatch, then you’ll soon notice the friction. 

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2. Who of my peers have selected this solution in the past two years?

Find out how many recent sales they have made of the solution. This will tell you if the ERP vendor is still relevant and your business peers are selecting to invest with them. 

They should be able to point to businesses that you recognise and offer up case studies relevant to your situation. 

3. Do you have capacity for this project? And can you do it in our time frame?

Always enquire about project management capacity and current capabilities to run this project in relation to other customer engagements. Forgetting this question could mean delays, complications, and wasted time negotiating project details – something that we’d all rather avoid. 

If your partner doesn’t come back with the response you wanted, dig a little deeper to figure out why. Is your deadline reasonable? Are they offering an alternative timeframe? Pay special attention to how clearly they communicate with you, and whether they approach things from a customer-centric perspective. 

Want to take this question even further? Try asking → How will your project methodology and project governance ensure that we stay within our expected time and budget restrictions? 

This will give you a peek behind the curtain about how they manage big projects. For example, at Fusion5, we take a one-size-does-not-fit-all approach – so no matter how complex your needs, we’ll help find the right solution for you.  

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4. Are all your consultants local?

Ideally, you want to have locally based technical consultants, functional experts, solution architects, and project managers. They will be more likely to understand regional nuances, regulatory requirements, and provide more comprehensive on-site support during your transition phases. 

While it’s not always necessary to have every representative of the team available on-site every day, a local presence will go a long way over the course of your project. With so many moving parts involved with an ERP implementation, having support on the ground (and in the same time zone!) makes a huge difference. 

5. What does your support look like after we go live?

Don’t get left hanging when the work is only half-complete! The ERP journey doesn’t end after implementation. Great partners will build in exercises like benefits realisation initiatives and continuous improvement strategies to their ERP support plan. 

Be sure that your vendor or partner is committed to helping you achieve long-term success. There will always be tweaks to make down the line, challenges to address, and crucial decision points to navigate. Having a partner that sees the holistic journey of ERP – and wants to see you thrive years down the line – is going to make your transition so much more valuable for your business. 

Add the above questions to your investigation arsenal and get a better grasp of how your potential new ERP partner works – and whether they have the local experience to deliver long-term value to your business. 

If you’re ready to start talking to the right people, reach out to us at Fusion5. We’ll help you figure out which ERP will work best for your business now and in the future. 

Great outcomes start with great conversations


Great outcomes start with great conversations

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