Why choosing an independent ERP consultancy is important


 Many of you will have made changes to your ERP systems in the past. Some of those may have come from decisions made in house, others may have come from external advice, some may have come from working with Primes/Tier Ones.

Whatever your reason, it’s important to make the correct choice, as an ERP system is an essential part of how your business runs.

But why is it important to receive independent advice when you feel like you can do it yourself?

Our Head of Transforming, Pete Doyle, takes up this important conversation…

Independent is a funny word in many ways.  It’s often something that is very much in the eye of the beholder, as even though for me it’s a clear enough state or quality – you either are or you aren’t – it is still used in varying degrees.

A strict dictionary definition refers to “free from outside control” and when used in the context of ‘independent consultant’ we’re told “experts in a particular field or topic who provide guidance based on their knowledge and experience”.

At Gradient we are proud to act as ERP consultants offering our clients fully independent business system selection, project and change management, and implementation support services. So, in the world of business systems consultancy, for us that means the following golden rules will always apply:

We’re unbiased all advice and guidance we give will always be impartial at all stages of a project.  As we are external to all other parties, we can often see and say things that those internal to a business are unable to.

We help clients solve problems with the right solution – by being both flexible and agile in our approach, we can ensure the services we provide meet each client’s needs, industry, and budget.  Whether that’s a simple intervention to help resolve project blockers or a full system selection, project success is our focus.

We bring proven external governance to each situation – we work on behalf of our clients to manage and support both their own project team as well as their chosen vendor or partners in order to keep their ERP project running smoothly.

We are solution agnostic – as we are not tied to, nor do we receive commissions from, any ERP vendor or implementation partner – we work solely for our client.  Not necessarily the cheapest or most functional solution, just the right one for the business.

Looking back at recent system selection projects, we’ve found that for the last 50 clients, we’ve helped them select over 25 different solutions from a mix of vendors and implementation partners. 

Whilst we stay close to all major vendors across the different solution tiers, we have no alliance or bias to any.  It’s critical for us that we introduce clients to what we believe to be the most suitable solutions to meet their needs, but we also have clients who ask for other less well-known vendors to be reviewed, often with a niche solution within a market sector.

We are also often measured on the knowledge and experience of our consultants.  Again, we offer a depth of expertise with our team having worked at the sharp end of things – running their own business, being an ERP end user and most importantly using systems rather than only reading about them.

Finally, before contacting us for help, many of our clients have already started down the path of either seeking or implementing a new ERP solution for their business.  However, this has its own challenges which we often hear:

  • Lack of time – there is also a day job to fulfil.
  • Lack of experience – few if any clients will have tackled system selection that often.
  • Lack of market knowledge – yes, they will know their own business very well, but again, will lack a broader awareness of the current ERP marketplace.
  • Lack of independence – it always comes back to this in the end – whether it be unconscious bias towards a previous system they have used or simply reacting to the first solution demonstration they see.

So, in summary, there is nothing to stop you starting your search for solutions yourself, if you have the experience and time to do so.  However, if there are the usual day to day pressures that are getting in the way or even if you want to just discuss an alternative approach, please get in touch for an initial chat.

Call us on 01282 463 710, or email us at Info@gradientbusiness.co.uk

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