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Love is in the air and you may be thinking about committing to a cloud solutions provider.
Like with most good relationships, the connection between you and your consulting firm should be based on trust, honesty and of course a mutual desire to see your newly implemented or customized CRM or ERP take your business to new heights. But, before you sign on the dotted line, make sure that the relationship will last the test of time. We’ve compiled a list of 5 things you should think about when it comes to selecting and committing to your new found love, your cloud solutions consulting firm.
Do you share the same definition of success?
Goals and ambitions are a driving force behind any major business undertaking. Is your primary goal to have your ERP solution implemented before a specific date? are your hands tied by strict financial constraints? is your new CRM expected to deliver a particular functionality above all else? We all have different goals and definitions of success, and ensuring that both you and your solution provider are on the same page is key to your relationship. Being clear from the beginning promotes the alignment of team members, project objectives and milestones. If this discussion hasn’t happened, it’s time to get talking.
Do you feel like a team together?
Feeling like a team can stem from a variety of things. Approach to project management, transparency, communication styles, and striving for the same goals. These often impact how well you’ll work with the solution provider. At Big Bang ERP we follow The Big Bang Experience methodology and have this info available to all who are interested in working with us. Our goal is make sure customers feel confident in the work we’ll deliver and how we go about doing it. Make sure whatever firm you end up committing to makes you feel secure and confident. A CRM or ERP implementation is a big deal and you’ll want it to be as smooth as possible.
Do you communicate effectively?
While you may technically speak the same language as your solution provider, effective communication means a whole lot more. If your Account Manager, Business Analyst or Sales Rep is speaking and you can’t understand a word they’re saying, something needs to change. A good solution provider will be able to describe concepts and terms to a variety of people, everything from the layperson all the way to the well versed, technically adept IT administrator.
Above and beyond general comprehension, good communication greatly centers on how often engagement occurs. Is your solution provider easy to get ahold of? do they take the time to listen to your feedback? are they proactive when it comes to communicating with you? The last thing you want when you are neck deep in an implementation is to feel like you’re by yourself on island. A great solution provider will recognize that any CRM or ERP project needs two-way communication.
Have you talked about finances?
For many, money is a tough topic to broach, so if the idea of full financial disclosure makes you want to run and hide, this part may be hard for you to get through. Professional Service Organizations, like the solution provider you are enlisting the help of, can quote in different ways. Option one is can Fix Bid, meaning they look at all your requirements and propose a cost to complete all necessary tasks and this is what you pay. The other option is called Time and Material, where the quote that’s delivered outlines all deliverables/tasks and the expected amount of time to complete. You are then billed for the hours worked. If the project takes less time, than you pay less. Of course, if it takes more than it costs more. Be sure that you choose a provider who quotes and bills in a way that you feel comfortable with.
Budgets should be discussed early and everyone should have a clear understanding of various what-if situations. What if the project takes longer than expected? what if the consultants don’t deliver what I asked for? what if I am late on a payment? Basics of course, but questions many don’t want to ask.
Is the chemistry right?
You’ve met your solution provider, they’ve answered your RFP, they have a clear understanding of your needs and they can deliver your requirements within budget. Just to be sure, you’ve followed up with references and read their success stories. Now, one last question, does it feel right? do you like these people, do you trust them?
Only you can answer these questions, trust your due diligence and your gut.