Today a customer for ERP is swamped with choices ranging from international ERPs to ERPs developed by local software companies and with costs ranging from few lakhs to crores. ERPs are selected by the Founders/ CEOs based on features and costs (license and implementation) of ERP and prior experience with Industry. ERP may contain very good features, just like a high-end mobile phone, but if those features are underutilized, then it may turn out to be expensive proposition. Another proposition could be to select an ERP based on requirements. Instead of asking what your ERP can do, ask how would it fulfill or how well does it match with our needs?
|Issue||Independent Consultant||ERP Implementer|
|Bias||Is not biased. Provides independent advice based on business systems required and functionalities of ERPs||Will favour ERPs being implemented by the company.|
|Strategic Advantage/ Competitive advantage and innovative solutions||Invests time in understanding business of client. Designs systems that will give client a competitive advantage.||Does not invest time in designing systems. Is only interested in implementation of his software. Suggests solutions applied in other companies|
|Organizational Readiness to change||An independent consultant after reviewing systems and organizational preparedness may suggest interim solutions if the organization is not ready for ERP.||ERP solution provider will not assess absorption capacity of the client|
|Formulation of business policies and rules||As part of the systems development will develop policies, procedures and business rules||Will only step in if something is missing and hampering implementation. Will provide limited solutions.|
|Change management strategy and plan||Will work with the company in developing a change management strategy and plan||May or may not provide change management plan|
|Implementation Plan||Prepares an implementation plan depending on organizational readiness and then fine tuned in consultation with Implementation partner.||Prepares an implementation plan based on commitments made in proposal|
|Design of Management Information System, MIS reports||Designs MIS based on organizational current and future needs||Implements MIS reports based on recommendations of the client|
|Training||Graduating to ERP involves changes in Business Systems and conversion of processes from manual to digital. A consultant can provide functional training on changes in Business Systems followed by ERP Implementer on how changed systems have been implemented in ERP. This eases transition and brings down resistance to change.||Single training on processes implemented in ERP only.|
An ERP consultant can help answer this question and can help in many other ways.