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Who are the Best Consultants for a Successful ERP Implementation?

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We consistently get a lot of hits on our blog for our ERP implementation topics, especially about leading a successful ERP implementation. But what defines success? Minimal operational disruption, increased efficiency, and ease of installing future improvements. There are other metrics to defining success, but we defined those three as some of the main ones because of their prevalence in this year’s ERP Report, published by Panorama Consulting Solutions.

Going off the topic of consulting solutions, one of the most interesting findings to us was its observations on consultants. According to the report, “there has been an increase in the percentage of organizations relying on consultants for organizational change management and a decrease in the percentage of organizations relying on consultants for implementation planning”.

What’s the difference between organizational change management and implementation planning? Namely, implementation planning occurs during pre-implementation while organizational change management occurs during and after implementation. The shift implies more frequent issues with the implementation process, especially as it relates to employee turnover and major changes within the company.

Implementing an ERP solution itself is a major operational change, so it is not surprising organizations are turning more to consultants specializing in reacting to changes as opposed to planning. Of course, this doesn’t mean planning isn’t important—27-32% of consultants from 2015-2016 were hired to do just that! But it does mean the ERP consultant landscape is shifting. In 2016, the demand for organizational management consultants increased to 22% from 13% in 2015, almost 10% in total. To supplement that statistic, the report also stated 84% of the respondents accounted for a moderate or intense focus on change management versus only 16% accounting for very little or no focus on it.

While every organization’s situation is different, this begs the question of whether you should invest in organizational change management consultants more than or as much as implementation planning consultants. This depends on the scope of your ERP implementation, but we recommend you do invest in them or at least place a moderate amount of focus on them.

Many organizations strive for one priority during any ERP implementation, and that priority is a minimal operational disruption. Major changes, anticipated or unanticipated, often come with disruptive transitional periods companies cannot afford to have. Having a detailed plan is already an essential resource, and help from an organizational change management consultant can ensure that plan is executed even if the most disruptive changes should come to pass.

For more tips, read 5 Things You Must Do Before and During a Rental Software Implementation.

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