No spoilers here. I am still working through Season 4 of Breaking Bad. But it dawned on me halfway through the episode last night that there are a few things we can learn from Walter White about finding the right partner. Whether it is Jessie, Skylar, Gustavo or Gale, when it comes to reliability, trust and longevity there are some definite barometers we can use to ensure our business partners can deliver results.
As more and more businesses turn to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions to increase efficiency and overall productivity, there is a growing demand for integration partners who can help successfully integrate internal and external systems and streamline workflows across your entire business. ERP done correctly means silos of data or disconnected offices and communication are a thing of the past.
How to get started? Here are a few things to look for in an integration partner:
From healthcare and education to manufacturing and technology, each industry has its own set of challenges, regulations, business requirements and processes. It is important that any integration partner demonstrates an understanding of your unique requirements and can help solve your workflow problems or inefficiency issues up front. (Better call Saul!)
Any successful integration partner understands you can’t just slap an ERP system together, turn it on and voila – efficiency! Business process management means correcting internal processes first and establishing best practices before implementing a new system – so you are not simply repeating old habits with new technology. (Think of Gustavo’s advice – “Never make the same mistake twice.”)
Businesses are constantly needing to reassess the way they deliver goods, services and manage their enterprise with the explosive growth of cloud-based and mobile technologies. Ensuring your integration partner has the ability to handle different technology platforms and delivery methods as your needs and the needs of your customers change is critical to your success. (Skylar comes to mind – willing to change direction when duty calls).
If done right, integrating ERP systems across your entire business – from accounting and sales to distribution and customer service – can improve efficiency, customer relationships and both internal and external communication. Do your homework and research the results your potential partner has achieved. Ask for references; preview product demos; review their case studies.
This integration of people, process and technology across disparate systems can save you time and money (and maybe get you some “fat stacks”) – but only if done right. As Mike told Walt, “I chose a half measure, when I should have gone all the way. I’ll never make that mistake again.” Words to live by.
Ray Emirzian is Vice President of Operations & Product Management with emphasis on Accounts Payable Solutions at DocStar, a B2B software firm specializing in cloud document management software and business process automation. Ray has over two decades of experience in business process analysis, business process automation, and business consultation working with industry-leading organizations including NCR, Canon USA, and AuthentiDate Holding Corporation. Ray offers innovative perspectives on streamlining business for improved efficiency and productivity.
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