Once the decision to seek outside help for an ERP upgrade is made, it's important to pick the right partner. To help identify who that is, there are a number of things to look for:
Make sure the staffing firm you ultimately select can show you not only consultants who are very experienced, but who also have successfully completed similar projects. That includes showing you resumes of consultants who have recent experience upgrading to the same version as youre moving to.
Whenever possible, request local candidates to eliminate or reduce travels costs, but realize that finding candidates with specific experience levels can require looking at regional and national candidates. Even with the additional expense of travel and per diem fees, the cost of using a staffing company instead of vendor or Big 4 implementation teams can be one-third to one-half the costs.
In a little more than a year, most major ERP vendors will have accomplished their objective of getting their clients to the newest supported level of their product or they will be charging them significantly higher maintenance fees to continue supporting older versions. For the 40 percent of companies that are lagging behind, time is running out to start the upgrade process.
However, whether the issue is financial, personnel or both, ERP upgrades still can be completed on time and within budget by taking the time to identify the best mix of internal and external resources.
Steve McMahan is group president for major markets for Kforce Inc. Based in Tampa, Fla., Kforce is a full-service professional staffing firm working in more than 40 North American markets, as well as through online services.