You’re looking for an ERP system and you’ve settled on Odoo.
Great choice. Odoo might be relatively new to the ERP scene, but it’s been making big waves because of its easy-to-use interface, modular structure (for greater flexibility and scalability) and low cost of ownership.
Now you just need to find someone to help you integrate it into your business and customise to suit your requirements. Sounds easy? It’s not. Because unless you get it right, you could end up costing your business a lot of time, money and hassle—as well as missing out on the maximum return from your investment.
So how do you choose the right partner for you?
Find an official Odoo partner
It might sound obvious, but this is the most important consideration. Because choosing a third party who isn’t official means risking your investment with a sub-standard implementation.
Finding an official Odoo partner means having the support and training from those who know the product best—especially those who have been awarded Gold or Silver certification from the developers themselves. The developers are the people who created the ERP system after all, so if they’ve given their seal of approval to the partner then you know you’ll be in good hands.
An official partner will know the challenges and how to overcome them. And they’ll be experienced with implementing the platform across a range of businesses. Which means you’re guaranteed to get the very best return from your financial investment and the maximum business boost possible.
Remember that not all partners are created equal. Odoo partners now need to employ accredited consultants who have passed the official Odoo exams for either Odoo versions 11 or 12. Ready partners need a minimum of one accredited consultant and Gold partners need four. Smart IT has nine accredited consultants, soon to rise to 11.
Look for experience—and testimonials
An official Odoo partner should have the experience you need, but it’s always a good idea to check for yourself. Do they have a strong record in successful implementations elsewhere that you can verify? Finding the answer to this might easily be done through testimonials on their website or via downloaded cases studies. However, you can also ask for referrals from previous clients. Any professional Odoo partner will be only too happy to help with this to put your mind at rest.
And speaking to satisfied clients isn’t only useful to confirm your potential partner is reliable and will be up to the task. It might also give you an idea of how best to work with them—and what they will expect from you—to maximise the potential of the working relationship.
Check their resources and a track record in your industry
Businesses in different industries will require different resources. So, it pays to make sure that the Odoo partner you choose has a solid track record of being able to implement for similar sized companies in your particular industry.
If you’re an international business, do they have the experience and resources to undertake a global implementation like yours? Have they done this before anywhere else? What was the outcome?
As above, you want to check the partner’s history in order to confirm they will be a good fit for your business. Because knowledge of your industry and the challenges you face will ultimately help them save you time, hassle and money—by providing the right ERP solution for you. One that will minimise the changes that need to be undertaken internally to ‘fit’ the platform, reducing disruption, and getting you to maximum productivity as soon as possible.
It's also important to verify if an Odoo partner directly employs resource in-house or if it’s outsourced to third parties. Many partners outsource much of their technical requirements overseas and this inevitably affects the continuity of the consultants on a project and the quality and consistency of the work undertaken.
How accessible will they be?
The world is getting smaller and it’s now easier than ever to have working relationships across the world. Yet nothing beats being able to call up someone in your own time zone and knowing you’ll get to speak to them. Or being able to chat to someone face to face to identify an issue and have it resolved on-site.
Again, this is something you don’t want to wait to discover later on, so chat to their previous clients and see how they rated the communication and support they received. Were their calls and emails answered on time? Did the partner listen to their concerns and provide useful solutions? And how available did they make themselves for on-site discussions and problem solving?
How good is their post-implementation support?
One of the biggest misunderstandings about ERP implementation is that it’s a one-off event. In fact, a successful implementation is one that includes strong support afterwards.
This is because implementation is an ongoing process. It’s such a big transition for any business to make, that even with the best partner on your side it will take time to reach peak performance—and it will be an ongoing process to maintain it.
Tweaks to the implementation might need to be made. New processes might need to be addressed as the business evolves. Whatever the case, make sure you choose a partner who is in this for the long haul and wants to help your business stay productive for years to come.
Want to find out more about Odoo and how we can get it working for your business as quickly and smoothly as possible? Get in touch today and talk to an expert