Perhaps you're thinking of putting in a new ERP system or have already done so. Regardless, you should also be taking a very close look at your business processes. Making a change to your business software can be a big step in increasing efficiency and is the best time to make changes to your overall business processes as well.
Good ERP consultants, especially those that are on the implementation team, do not simply install software and say goodbye – instead, they work with you to take a hard look at your organization as a whole and make changes to improve efficiency. Some changes may be required to integrate the software with your organization while other changes may not be necessary but will greatly improve productivity. Before you select new software you should be thinking about what changes need to be made to increase efficiency so that you know what your requirements are. ERP software consulting (often offered by the vendor) can then help you build upon your requirements and add efficiencies you may not have thought of in the process.
A reputable vendor will often help you work through your requirements at no charge and help you gain an understanding of where you need to be on the software side of things for when you make your selection. This consultation can be used to identify price points for the functionality you require as well as solidify your needs on a functional and software feature basis.
After the sale, a number of consultation services are available such as on-going business support to refine processes as well as the in-depth setup and configuration according to your specific requirements. It may seem like a no brainer that this sort of consultation is offered but stories aboard of botched ERP implementations because the vendor sold their software and offered little support in helping tailor it to an individual company’s needs. Be sure to have a discussion with any vendors you are seriously considering regarding their consulting services and expertise. You should feel confident that they understand your business well and their software will be able to deliver on your requirements.
Hint: it is a bonus if they are able to identify requirements you were not aware of. The same goes for delivering above expectations on functionality.