The Size of Your ERP Provider Matters
By: Johnny Nugent
When comparing potential ERP options, the size of the ERP provider should be considered. Do you want a big-name ERP provider or a smaller niche provider? You might think that you know what you want, and of course, there are benefits and drawbacks to both, but let’s break down the differences between big and small ERP vendors here. Imagine yourself as Goldilocks, trying to find the provider that fits your company “just right.” Your ERP provider should be a long-term partnership, not just a one-time business deal.
The “Papa Bear” of the ERP Providers
While it may seem more secure to invest in a bigger, more well-known ERP provider, the drawbacks can far outweigh the benefits. Many companies think that since the “big guys” have been around for so long and have so many customers, that they aren’t going anywhere. And while there is some truth to that, there are many small and medium-sized ERP providers that have been offering excellent software and service for a long time as well and may offer additional benefits you don’t get with a big ERP provider.
Here are some things to consider when working with a big ERP provider:
- Typically, the bigger and more well-known the provider, the pricier they are. If your budget is tight, this may not be the route for you.
- Many of these recognizable companies have locations across the globe, consisting of resellers or consulting companies that you will most likely be working with. The big guys are big because they have countless customers. While this may seem like a positive at first glance, think about how many people are calling customer service. What happens if your system is down, or you need to speak with somebody to solve an issue immediately? More than likely, you’ll be speaking to an automated customer service robot before you get connected with a human that can help with your issue. What are the chances they’ll be able to solve your issue on that call, anyways? They’ve got a whole list of customers calling in with issues. Consider yourself another number on that list.
- Every ERP implementation takes a considerable amount of time and money. Imagine if it didn’t work out? Many of the big guys are known to get you started on your implementation, but then leave you hanging. Smaller ERP providers can’t afford a failed implementation and will push your company towards success.
If you’re not looking for a personal connection to the provider and just looking for a reliable software solution, then the big guys might be the best option for you.
The “Mama Bear” and “Baby Bear” of the ERP Providers
If the “Papa Bear” ERP vendor is too big, then it’s likely that the “Mama Bear” or the “Baby Bear” (medium or small, respectively) ERP vendor will be just right. There are many small and mid-sized ERP vendors that have been around for many years, have a loyal customer base, and can provide great software and service.
There are advantages to working with the “little guys” over the “big guys” too:
- With a small or mid-sized provider, you will likely be able to get the same great software for a more competitive price.
- You will be able to reach a real person when you put in a service call.
- If you attend your small to mid-sized ERP vendor’s annual conference, you won’t be just another number like you would be at some of the big-name ERP company conferences. You can actually meet and network with the ERP team you’ve been working with regularly allowing for a stronger ongoing relationship between customer and ERP provider.
- Customers mean so much more to the small ERP providers so they will make every customer feel like it is a top priority.
These smaller name providers will be there to support you through every stage of the partnership from RFP and contract stages to implementation and go-live stages (and beyond). Choosing a smaller ERP vendor means having access to all levels of management and being able to meet the team behind the software. If personal relationships are important to you then you should be looking for a small or mid-sized provider.
Your ERP provider should act as a partner, with full transparency and open communication to ensure that you are maximizing your use to benefit from their system. No matter what size vendor you decide to invest in, make sure that you are getting what you want not only from the software itself but the company behind it. Think Visibility could be “just right” for your needs? Contact us today to learn more!