How to ‘divorce’ a bad ERP support partner

If you’ve had an ERP accounting system for any length of time, chances are good that you’ve heard your relationship with your ERP support partner be compared to a marriage. It’s a fitting analogy considering how seldom companies switch out their accounting software — or the partner that supports it.

Often companies stick with the partner that originally implemented their ERP software. Sometimes this partnership works well long-term. A good ERP partner values meaningful relationships over sales and works hard to continue to offer high-quality support in a timely manner.

Other times, the company finds the services from its original partner lacking and starts to wonder how difficult it might be to change partners.

However, the marriage analogy spins off another analogy when you’re thinking about the possibility of switching partners: Divorce.

Is changing your ERP partner truly so difficult that it must be compared to a divorce, or is this where the analogy should end?

Just the word conjures up a mix of feelings ranging from relief to dread. Is changing your ERP partner truly so difficult that it must be compared to a divorce, or is this where the analogy should end? The reality is that switching partners might cause a little pain, but rest assured it won’t wreak the same emotional drama as a messy divorce can.

If you’re not content with your current ERP partner, making a switch might just be in your best interest. Here’s how to “divorce” your ERP partner in 4 simple steps:

1. Let your current ERP partner know your intent.

You’ve stuck with your current partner for this long for a reason. Your first step should be to let them know that you are no longer pleased with their services. Be upfront about your concerns and let them know you are thinking about finding a new partner.

This should prompt them to act, and it gives them a chance to try to fix the issue. After all, they can’t fix what they don’t know is broken. To continue with the marriage metaphor, you can’t expect your spouse to change if he or she doesn’t know what you need.

Similarly, if your ERP partner can resolve the issues, your relationship — or level of support — will greatly improve and you might be able to avoid the sometimes painful process of changing partners. If not, follow through and find a new partner.

2. Choose a new ERP support partner.

By now you’ve lost patience with your current partner. You gave them a chance to address the problem, they didn’t and it’s time to move on to a new partner. Where do you begin? You can find a new ERP partner through a few different avenues:

* Talk to other companies in your industry and see who they use.

* If you’re active in a Dynamics User Group, request recommendations there.

* Check out Bob Scott’s list of top 100 VARs for ideas.

* Google top ERP partners or ERP partners near me.

Once you’ve found one that appears to be a good fit, call them and do some follow-up research to ensure they can give you what your current partner cannot.

3. Fill out a Change Partner of Record request with Microsoft.

Microsoft keeps track of which customers each Value-Added Reseller (VAR) supports so you will need to officially change your partner on file with Microsoft. You can either make the request yourself online through Microsoft’s CustomerSource, or your new partner can initiate the request on your behalf. In the latter scenario, you will need to provide your new partner with your CustomerSource account number and pin and then respond to the email their request generates.

In either case, you will want to stay in close communication with your new partner to make sure you each have the correct information to finish the process. A change of partner request can be completed within a few days. Your old partner will also receive an email from Microsoft notifying them that they are no longer your ERP partner of record.

4. Make the transition.

The paperwork might be finished, but you’re not quite done yet. Remember all that work gathering requirements that you did when you first implemented the system? Your new ERP partner will need to perform a similar task, but on a much smaller scale. They will want to assess how your system is set up and how efficiently it is operating.

Congratulations! You now have a new ERP support partner, hopefully one that is better suited to meet your company’s needs. If you’re looking for a new ERP partner, contact us at 763-412-4300 or to determine if Boyer is a good fit for you.