Ensure your SAP B1 implementation won’t consume too much time & money
Once you’ve decided to implement SAP Business One, the next decision you’ll have to make is arguably the most critical – which SAP B1 partner is going to carry out the implementation?
The partner you choose needs to be technically competent, know your industry and understand your business, as well as being able to implement within the cost and time restrictions that you define. But that’s not all.
You need a SAP partner with more than strong implementation credentials. You need one that can build a long-term relationship with your company and provide ongoing services to ensure the system continues to support the business in the best possible way.
There are two key things to remember here:
If you’ve gone for SAP Business One, it’s probably because your business is growing. So your business won’t look the same in one, two or five years. You need a partner who can keep the system working optimally as you evolve and expand.
The relationship with your partner is likely to span ten years or more – so you need to choose someone you can trust with your business in the long term.
We’re proud to have developed strong, long-standing relationships with many SAP Business One customers at APH. Our approach is based on providing lifetime support for the application, which means we also offer the infrastructure, support and optimisation services required to really get the most from the system.
If you’re just starting out on the process of choosing a partner, here are some questions you should be asking:
What SAP Business One implementation experience does the partner have?
Ask your potential partner about their previous experience implementing SAP Business One in your industry. Have they worked with companies of a similar size and with similar requirements? A partner that can bring previous experience of the type of processes you have and the challenges you face into the project will be able to deliver a quicker and smoother implementation.
Which add-on solutions are supported by the partner?
More than 500 add-on solutions are available for use with SAP Business One. They’re built to meet industry-specific requirements, so you need to know which solutions (if any) your business will need and if you partner can support them. For example, you may need Job Costing functionality to track the profitability of individual jobs and projects.
Is the support local?
Your chosen partner doesn’t have to be on your doorstep, but working with a local partner usually means that support can be delivered faster and more cost-effectively. If the partner you want to work with is not particularly close to your business, check the reliability and robustness of their telephone and online helpdesk services. A credible partner should be able to walk you through their support desk procedures.
What does the support agreement include?
You need a partner who can offer comprehensive support for your SAP Business One implementation and continue to do so once the system goes live. Make sure you find out what is included in the support agreement and get it in writing to avoid any confusion.
Can I meet the team?
It’s always a good idea to spend some time with the consultants who will carry out your implementation. You’ll be taking on a hugely important project together, so you need to make sure your team can work with them and that you agree on expectations.
Which implementation methodology will be used to implement SAP B1?
SAP provides its partners with a host of implementation and support resources. Many choose to customise or tweak these frameworks to reflect their way of working. You need to know how the methodology is going to deliver a successful implementation within your budget and timescale. You also need to know what documentation, progress meetings and other events you can expect once the project gets underway.
What development capability does the SAP Business One partner offer?
This goes back to the point about your business growing. Even if you don’t require SAP B1 development for the initial implementation, you might need to integrate a third-party application or build custom functionality into your SAP B1 platform in the future. Does your potential partner have the expertise and capacity to provide development services?
If your potential partner can supply satisfactory answers to each of these questions, it’s likely that you will be able to enjoy a productive and successful relationship. The importance of choosing a capable and responsive partner really cannot be overstated, so make sure you take the time to perform your due diligence before going ahead with your SAP B1 implementation project.