PUBLISHED JULY 23, 2021
What are the challenges we face in supporting customers with their ERP system?
By Vanessa Romero
Microsoft Dynamics Principal, B-eye Solutions
B-eye Solutions is a Microsoft partner implementing and supporting customers using ERP products. Working with Microsoft ERP systems for more than 15 years, I have established and nurtured relationships with our customers from different industries. Each customer has their own challenges when it comes to maintaining their ERP application. In this blog, I will share the most common ones we encounter and how we have learned to manage and overcome every single one of them.
1. Knowledge continuity
Knowing how the system works is very much different from knowing how your customer uses the system. There might be a specific process on how they utilize the application. This is one of the first things that a service partner needs to know in handling a new customer. In most cases, these specific processes are kept in someone’s brain and for unfortunate reasons like resignation, those information and knowledge are brought with them. That is why, documentation is very important in any project or managed services. However, that alone is not enough to make sure that customer specific information will continue. These documents need to be revisited on a regular basis and updated as required. Keeping them in a shared and organized repository like SharePoint is very helpful. Process recordings is one of the standard functionalities of Microsoft D365 Finance and Operation. The Task Recorder is a great feature of this system that anyone can utilize to capture the specific steps in carrying out their processes.
2. Implementation of a transition project
Part of a successful support service is a proper implementation of a transition project. It can be a transition from the Implementation partner to the support team, a transition from one support partner to another or from the internal customer consultant to the support team. This does not only cover the knowledge transfer on how the customer operates on the system, but also setting a clear process
in handling the support service in general. In B-EYE, we have a standard way of handling a transition project to make sure that any customer engagement will always start with a clear definition of our scope, service catalogue, governance, Incident and Change management, access management, communication line and other support specifics. We also undergo a series of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) discussions and knowledge transfer sessions. We always aim to have a good foundation as that will hold the success of our support services.
3. Solid partnership
We have encountered customers who were unhappy with their previous partners for several reasons. Some of the most common challenges are slow response time, weak expertise, and high-priced service. Basically, they are not getting the value of what they are paying for. Being an expert in the system is not the only thing that will make a customer happy. Partners are supposed to understand the specific requirements, pain points and the underlying issues and work from there. It is also important to gain their trust and build a good relationship with them. Our attention should be on our customers’ needs, wants and working behaviors so we can
provide them with recommendations and options that would result to improvement of their work. We are in for a bigger commitment; we want to make sure our customers consider us as not just as a service provider, but a strategic partner.
In a time where organizations aim to be more productive and respond to ever-changing business needs, they rely on ERP systems to connect their business processes. To unlock the solution’s full potential, maintenance and support play a big role for them to achieve their goals.
Knowledge continuity, Implementation of transition project, and Solid Partnership are the top three challenges that we have encountered in supporting customers using ERP applications. We have learned how to work around these and help customers reach the ultimate goal of a stable business as usual state and efficient usage of their ERP application.
To learn more about why an ERP software could be beneficial to your business, take time to read this blog: Why and ERP software is important to your business: LINK