If you’re here, you’re a smart business person.
You don’t need me to convince you that your small business must leverage powerful technology in order to maximize efficiency, growth, and profitability. SAP Business One can help you accomplish this; it's an incredible platform. So if you've come this far, take comfort in knowing you’re definitely on the right track.
Selecting the right SAP Partner, and setting up your implementation for success, are the next critical steps as you seek to digitally transform your business processes. If you keep the following points in mind as you venture down this path, then you'll be in very good shape when it's all said-and-done.
Hiring the right SAP Partner.
You should be very, very intentional about this process. If you choose the right partner, it can quite literally take your business to the next level and help you perform in ways that are profoundly better.
So, you can imagine what picking the wrong partner can do.
When you’re exploring partners to help you implement SAP Business One, or help support your existing Business One system, it's very important that you pay attention to the little things.
- Do they respond to emails in a timely fashion? Do they answer their phone? Do they sound excited to serve you, or does it seem like you're a burden to them?
- Do they provide helpful resources so you can better understand SAP Business One, the implementation & support process, and how you can trust them to be your SAP Partner?
- Are they open and transparent? Do they have pricing on their website? Does their website simplify things for you, or does it raise more questions?
- Can you learn more about the team on their website? Can you see the values that drive their actions?
- Can they guarantee, in writing, the implementation cost and timeline?
These things might seem obvious, but these are all pretty good predictors of what your experience will be like if you decide to hire them. You should have an unreasonably high standard for your SAP Partner; you should expect nothing but the best.
If you start seeing red-flags, don’t ignore them! As a small business, doing so will likely cost your company time, money and other resources that you can’t afford to waste.
At the end of the day, you need to thoroughly and completely vet potential partners. I’m not saying that we're definitely the right partner for you but, we do have a process by which you can be assured if we are.
Get a clearly defined scope.
To give a potential SAP Partner a chance, they need to know where you currently are and where you want to go.
Your time is valuable, isnt it?
So, we have a process that was developed to help a small business like yours get everything you need to make a well-informed decision without wasting your time or cutting any corners.
So that you understand how we do things, here's the road-map we use that helps to lead our clients where they want their company to go:
- The Discovery Call – This call that typically takes 30 minutes. We have 10 questions that we ask. Some of your responses will probably prompt other related questions. The bottom-line is this, the right partner is going to need to become intimately familiar with your business. We need to understand your business processes, current challenges and goals. Most importantly, we’ll need to understand why you have the challenges and goals that you do.
- A Personalized SAP Business One Demo – This takes one hour. If you want to see a generic SAP Business One demo, go to YouTube. If you want to see how your specific small company would use Business One, then this is the next step. Our team will need 5-10 business days following The Discovery Call to personalize the demo so that all of your specific needs are addressed.
- Business Process Discussion (optional) – If this is needed, it takes about an hour. Once you're convinced that SAP Business One is the platform that can help address your current challenges, and facilitate your company’s future growth, it may be necessary to have a more detailed discussion about your business processes. This usually is the case if we need some additional information so that we can provide you with our Fixed-Price Promise. For many small companies, with simple business processes, we’ll be able to develop a proposal for your SAP Business One implementation directly following your personalized demo.
- Proposal Presentation – Presenting our implementation proposal for your company takes 30 minutes. Our SAP Business One implementation proposals provide the certainty and predictability that a small company needs. Every SAP Business One implementation by Stellar One Consulting comes with our Fixed-Price Promise (the price we propose is the price you pay to go live; it’s not a guess, it’s not an estimate) and our 90-Day Go-Live Guarantee (you’ll be live on Business One in 90 days or we’ll pay for your cloud licenses until you are).
In 2-3 hours of meetings, you’ll have a clearly-defined scope for your SAP Business One implementation. We actually take it a step-further, not only do our clients have the detailed scope but you’ll have a fixed-priced and a timeline guarantee.
Deploy an iterative system implementation process.
During the SAP Business One implementation, it doesn’t make sense to only work through your entire business process once.
Think about it.
If you test your business process only once during the 90-day implementation, then you have no time to work through issues that arise. That’s how timelines get pushed out. That’s how budgets get drained, and that’s how partner-client relationships get ruined.
We work through your business process, end-to-end, multiple times throughout the implementation. Our testing process is iterative, meaning its agile and adaptable. Working end-to-end multiple times allows us to flush out all issues, while ensuring that your team knows how to use the software when you finally go live.
This process, often referred to as a rapid implementation methodology, ensures that we go live on-time. That’s one of the ways we’re able to offer implementations with a guaranteed timeline.
Don’t train the trainer. Train everyone.
With any software implementation, there's going to be a learning curve. Getting your business onto a new system requires some change management. But why would any reasonable person think that someone on your team should have the responsibility of teaching everyone else in your company how to use the system properly?
The learning curve doesn’t need to be unnecessarily prolonged because one person on your team is buried answering company questions about SAP Business One. This is how implementation timelines get delayed, and this is how massive frustration builds.
We train everyone on your team, not just one person.
Everyone on your team should learn how to use SAP Business One from the experts that you hire. This way every one of your team members becomes the champions of your system, not the other way around. As a result, timelines are met and, the benefits of the system are realized quickly because your team is using the system correctly right from the start.
Align your payment terms with project milestones.
It’s important to make sure that the team you hire is held accountable for their performance.
A well-organized implementation is executed by reaching milestones. You need your system to reach certain milestones throughout the implementation. So, align your company’s needs with your implementation team's.
You SAP Partner functions just like any other business, they need revenue to survive. So, pay your SAP Partner as your Business One implementation milestones are met.
This ensures your implementation is being completed at the highest-level, and this establishes a system of accountability so that a long-term, healthy and successful partner-client relationship is cultivated.
Get your fixed-price and timeline guaranteed in writing.
This is going to be the most difficult feature to find, hands-down. Most SAP Partners are reluctant, or will completely refuse, to do this.
According to Panorama’s 2018 ERP Report, 79% of ERP implementations overshoot their scheduled timelines and 64% go over budget! Without the right controls in place, you’re very likely to spend more time and money than you expected to implement SAP Business One.
Make sure your SAP Partner can offer protections against these things during your implementation. Our SAP Business One implementations come with our Fixed-Price Promise and our 90-Day Go-Live Guarantee.
You can start the process by scheduling your Discovery Call right here.