When you sell cars you should know all about cars, so when you sell software you should know all about software, right? Not entirely. Of course a software vendor should know about IT, but when you sell ERP software that alone will not be enough. You should know all ins and outs of the industries your customers operate in: industry knowledge is crucial for an ERP vendor.
It’s a business project, not an IT project
There are still companies that deal with ERP implementations as if these are IT projects. But they are not. ERP software is about having one integrated solution to support all of your business processes to help your business move forward. Thus, the software vendor should have a deep understanding of the business processes and know exactly what issues and challenges his customers are facing. Technology and infrastructure are important, but it are streamlined and perfectly automated business processes that really make a difference
ERP software is built by industry knowledge
As ERP software supports your business processes it is created or built by industry knowledge. A successful ERP vendor knows your type of business and applies that knowledge in the design and development of the ERP system. And when your industry changes and thus the requirements to the ERP software change, there is no need to worry whether your software vendor will anticipate on this. He knows exactly what is going on and is the best sparring partner you can get to discuss business process improvement and software optimization.
Your ERP vendor should help you to grow
Your ERP partner should be able to understand your specific requirements, but also have a clear opinion on what the best practice is. If your ERP partner has helped multiple organizations similar to yours to improve their business processes and create a basis for company growth, you can rely on their experience. In fact, the ERP vendor might know better than you do what your business processes should look like. Not just a vendor, but an advisor and sparring partner as well.
So when looking for an ERP vendor, focus on the industry knowledge they have. Do they sound like a partner that can help your business move forward? Have they helped similar organizations like yours before? Do they talk the same “language” you do? If you can answer ‘Yes’ to all of this, it is very likely you have found the right ERP vendor.
Terry Williams is Operational Manager at Dysel USA with extensive work experience at the customers served by Dysel.