Evaluating ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software can be a long, difficult process. In many cases, hiring a consultant can make the decision easier and faster.
But, let’s face it; a majority of ERP consulting companies and consultants are aligned with a particular ERP vendor (or multiple ERP vendors).
With this being the case, it’s good be a little wary of ERP consultants and their potential biases. Determining how biased they really are can go a long way in helping you find the best consultant and ERP software for your company.
Here are some particular questions to ask an ERP consultant and signs that will tell how biased he or she truly is.
1. Do you benefit from selling software for any ERP companies?
Sure, it’s easy to respond with a lie, but it never hurts to ask and gauge the body language and sound of the consultant’s voice. Nearly every ERP software consultant is paid to recommend or sell software, but not all have specific software companies they need to sell from. There are nearly 200 ERP vendors out there, so the less bias the better in finding the best fit for your company.
2: Do you charge based on the savings you negotiate in the ERP purchase?
Many firms and ERP consultants will say that they do not make money from the recommendations or sales to a specific ERP vendor, but they may be receiving incentives from them. For example, they may have a collaborated price with an ERP vendor, which is higher than the actual list price. Then, the consultant negotiates a lower price to seemingly get you a better deal, when the first list price was actually inflated. This leads to the consultant getting a back end incentive from the ERP vendor.
3: Observe how he or she references specific ERP offerings during or after demos and discussions.
If the consultant routinely refers only to the positive aspects of an ERP product, even when directly shown a negative feature, it might be a warning sign that you are dealing with his preferred ERP solution or one of his ERP incentive companies.
For example, say you come to the accounting part of the demo and the CFO says that the it won’t work because it’s too limited. If the consultant says something like, “Well the rest of it works…I don’t see this being too much of a problem,” you should realize that he might not have your best interests in mind. If he keeps referring to only the positives of that ERP solution and ignores the negatives, that could be a clear indication as well.