Proven cloud ERP consultants possess a diverse skill set to help organizations navigate complex software implementations and integrations while ensuring the ERP continues to deliver value and scalability over time.
They’re also trusted partners in managing your ERP system, keeping your business process up to date with the latest integrations and offerings, and leveraging ERP tools to ensure your business will thrive and stay ahead of the competition.
So how do you identify a top-notch cloud ERP consultant to supercharge your business and achieve digital transformation? Let’s find out.
The Rise of Cloud ERP Solutions
The adoption of cloud ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems has significantly increased in recent years, with 53% of companies now utilizing cloud ERPs. This shift towards cloud technology signals a major transformation in how businesses approach enterprise resource planning.
With proper implementation and usage, cloud ERP systems can transform how companies manage core business processes by streamlining operations, reducing costs, and boosting scalability.
For example, cloud ERP software like NetSuite has helped thousands of businesses optimize their operations and capitalize on opportunities within their sector.
The growing demand for cloud ERP systems has increased the number of consultants offering services to help organizations implement and manage complex software scenarios.
Benefits of Cloud ERP
The benefits of cloud ERP are numerous, starting with significant cost savings.
Traditional on-premises ERP solutions often require substantial investments in hardware, software, and maintenance. Cloud ERP systems eliminate these upfront costs and provide a lower total cost of ownership.
Plus, ERPs like NetSuite provide continual upgrades, saving IT maintenance and support costs.
Users can access cloud-based systems from devices in locations with an internet connection, enabling greater collaboration and productivity.
Finally, cloud ERP systems offer enhanced security measures, with data stored in the cloud and safeguarded by multiple layers of protection. This ensures businesses can operate with peace of mind and the confidence that sensitive financial and customer data is protected.
The Role of a Cloud ERP Consultant
First things first: It’s crucial to select a cloud ERP consultant with a track record of success, qualifications, and abilities. A successful consultant should possess strong technical skills, be dependable, and communicate effectively to make your business smarter.
An ERP consultant wears many hats, all critical in successfully implementing and managing ERP systems.
- analyzing existing systems and processes
- identifying requirements
- mapping data
- creating documentation and procedures for reports, data conversions, interfaces, and application extensions
Additionally, they develop a specified ERP strategy, provide support in training end-users and admins, and perform periodic system upgrades and improvements.
The system analysis process examines a company’s procedures and objectives to develop systems and processes that best fulfill these needs.
This process is vital to understanding and customizing the ERP system to meet the organization's unique requirements.
ERP consultants must engage with clients, comprehend client expectations, and identify the appropriate stakeholders to ensure smooth system implementation.
Implementation and Integration
During the implementation phase, expect your ERP consultant to devise a tailored ERP strategy, transfer data from existing systems, and train end-users and admins.
The goal is to ensure a seamless transition to the new system and its integration with existing business processes without any business downtime.
Integrating existing software and processes with the new cloud ERP system requires a thorough understanding of the organization’s requirements and the ERP’s API capabilities.
Integration involves mapping existing data and processes to the new system, configuring data flow, and stress-testing to ensure optimal performance.
Keep in mind that proper implementation and integration are vital to guaranteeing your new cloud ERP system's successful deployment and adoption.
User Training and Support
Effective ERP consultants help growing businesses maximize the benefits of their systems and ensure user adoption.
An ERP consultant should offer sustained technical support, managed services, detailed documentation, and training. This includes providing white glove assistance, addressing user concerns and pushback, and offering guidance on best practices for using the ERP system to its full potential.
Choosing the Right Cloud ERP Consultant
Selecting the right ERP consultant for your business might feel like a high-pressure situation, so these tried, and true tips are designed to make the process go smoothly.
Consider how the cloud ERP consultant stacks up in terms of the following:
- Industry knowledge
- Customization capabilities
- Support and training
- Vendor partnerships
Carefully evaluate these factors to ensure your chosen consultant is well-equipped to help your organization implement, manage, and optimize your cloud ERP system.
Industry experience plays a significant role in the success of ERP consulting. Consultants with extensive knowledge in your specific industry will better understand your unique requirements, processes, and challenges.
When assessing a consultant’s industry experience, it’s helpful to keep an eye out for evidence such as case studies, customer references, and certifications.
Additionally, asking about their experience in the industry and how they have assisted other organizations in the past can provide valuable insights into their expertise and capabilities.
When choosing a cloud ERP consultant, ask about their software certifications. Certifications let you know if the consultant possesses the specific technical expertise needed to successfully implement, integrate, and customize the ERP system.
A consultant with the right technical expertise can accurately configure and implement the system and quickly identify and address potential issues.
Start with word of mouth. Talk to colleagues, friends, or peers within your industry about who they've used and their experiences with the prospective cloud ERP consultant.
Ask potential consultants for references from past clients and reach out to these references for feedback.
Also, request case studies or a portfolio of past projects. This can give you a clearer picture of the consultant's expertise and how they handle challenges.
When evaluating a cloud ERP consultant's customization capabilities, it's important to assess their technical skills and ability to understand and cater to your business needs.
First, inquire about their development team: Who will be responsible for the customizations? Do they have a dedicated team?
Ask if they can demonstrate a customization they've done for another client (without violating confidentiality) or if they can create a mock customization based on a scenario you provide.
Clarify the ERP consultant’s methodology: What process do they follow when customizing an ERP solution? Look for structured methodologies like Agile or Waterfall.
Do they prioritize understanding your business needs before diving into the technical side?
Discuss how their customizations will affect future upgrades of the ERP system. Ask how they ensure that the customizations they implement today will remain relevant and functional as your business grows.
Support and Training
A great consultant should offer comprehensive post-launch technical support and training to help your team transition smoothly to the new system. Here's how you can assess their support and training capabilities:
Ask for Specifics
What does their post-implementation support package look like? How long is it valid?
Do they offer different levels of support, and what are the costs associated with each?
Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
Do they have SLAs in place that specify response and resolution times for reported issues?
What are the stipulations and guarantees within the SLA? Make sure they align with your business requirements.
Review any contracts or agreements related to support and training. Ensure that everything discussed is clearly laid out in writing.
Ask for an outline or curriculum of their training programs. How comprehensive is it? Does it cover all features of the cloud ERP?
Can they customize training based on your business processes and user roles?
What formats do they offer? In-person workshops, webinars, online courses, or a combination?
Do they provide hands-on training, enabling users to practice in a test environment?
Through what means can you reach out for support? Email, phone, live chat, Slack, ticketing system, etc.?
Are there dedicated support teams or representatives assigned to your company?
What are their support hours? 24/7, business hours, time zone differences?
Do they offer emergency support for critical issues?
Documentation & Resources
Do they provide user manuals, how-to guides, FAQs, and other resources for self-help?
Is there a community forum or knowledge base available for customers?
Ongoing Training & Updates
As the ERP software evolves, how do they handle training for new features or changes?
Do they offer refresher courses or advanced training modules for continuous learning?
On-Site vs. Remote Support
Can they provide on-site support if required? While remote support is standard, certain situations or issues might necessitate an in-person visit. For example, StratusGreen will travel to locations across North American locations to get the job done.
Inquire about their process for escalating unresolved issues. How do they handle situations when the first line of support can't address the problem?
Vendor partnerships are an often overlooked factor when selecting a cloud ERP consultant. These partnerships indicate a consultant’s relevance and vote of approval from other companies.
When your consultant has an impressive list of vendor partnerships, you know you can get almost everything you need, acquire a broader range of services and solutions, and enjoy enhanced flexibility and scalability.
Additionally, these partnerships can help reduce costs and optimize the efficiency of the ERP system by leveraging core competencies over custom solutions.
Benefits of NetSuite Cloud ERP
Among the options for cloud ERP solutions, one stands above the rest — NetSuite.
NetSuite ERP, part of Oracle cloud applications, is the leading cloud-based enterprise resource planning system. It offers a comprehensive suite of applications to help companies manage their operations effectively.
These extensive features and functionalities make NetSuite ERP a preferred option for businesses from various industries seeking a cloud-based solution.
With the guidance of experienced ERP consultants, organizations can harness the power of NetSuite to streamline processes, improve operational efficiency, and drive rapid growth.
We’re Passionate About NetSuite Cloud ERP Consulting
At StratusGreen, we’re in the business of cloud ERP consulting with a laser focus on NetSuite. Why NetSuite? We’ve seen our NetSuite customers consistently reach new heights with the revered ERP platform.
As a certified NetSuite Solution Provider, we excel in showing how NetSuite’s apps and integrations can fit seamlessly into your business operations.
We also understand that choosing an ERP consultant is a critical decision that can significantly impact the success of your ERP project, and we don’t take this lightly. Our human approach, critical thinking, and tailored strategies set us apart.
If engaging with a new ERP consultant is on your “to-do” list, don’t hesitate to book a call and kick-start a discussion. We’re happy to answer all your questions and ensure your NetSuite ERP experience goes above and beyond.