When it comes to a new software implementation, many organizational leaders find themselves experiencing sticker shock after they receive a price quote. After many discussions with several different partners, oftentimes organizations will accept an offer from the implementation provider that has the cheapest hourly rate coupled with the least amount of hours. This is problematic for many reasons, but the biggest pitfall of price shopping in your technology implementations is this: if you buy based on price alone, you’re going to end up paying more in the long run.
“We’ve learned through this process that we could’ve saved ourselves a lot of time and money, had we engaged a partner like Eide Bailly earlier in the process.”
-Ryan Newman, VP of Traeger Grills
Why should you buy based on value rather than price? Many of our clients come to us after a failed implementation.
Here are some unfortunate examples we've seen firsthand:
On the other end of the spectrum are that will quote a 300-hour project at 600 hours. If you receive dramatically different estimates from multiple implementation partners, there is a key misunderstanding or misinterpretation of your needs.
So, how do you start to shop based on value instead of on price? It all comes down to shopping for a partner rather than a vendor.
Understanding the terminology and semantics of the tech is absolutely essential. Knowing the nuances and ins-and-outs of the technology is what will make it work for your business.
For example, an experienced Salesforce implementation partner will know the difference between a Prospect, Lead, and Opportunity in Salesforce; the hierarchy of an Account, Contact, Activity and Campaign (and what it means for your processes); how your internal approach (whether you’re more agile or traditional waterfall) will affect if you adapt Cases or Projects in your CRM, and so on.
Along with talking the tool’s talk, the right partner will work to the core of your business. Experience in your industry or knowledge of best practices is an important qualifier when you’re choosing an implementation partner. They’ll be able to dive into your processes and tie your technology to your business goals.
The tool is only one piece of the implementation. You need to align your people, process and technology to get the most out of your investment.
“When Eide Bailly came in and explained the way they work and their processes of gathering the information before they ever began, we knew that Eide Bailly was a good resource and a great third-party to implement Salesforce for us.”
-Dan Dustin, Freemotion Fitness
Salesforce, for example, is a highly customizable, far-reaching solution. This is both a blessing and a curse. Knowing the tool is one thing. Knowing how to best apply it to your business is another.
What a Lead in Salesforce means for one organization could mean something completely different to another. One organization’s inventory management in NetSuite can be a vastly different process compared to . That is the beauty and the overwhelming power of today’s technology. It can be built to suit you. But if you don’t know how to accurately relate the solution’s features to your business processes, you’ll never realize a real return on your investment.
Lead scoring, workflows and dashboards create a CRM that is uniquely your own. Maybe you know what data you want on your dashboard, or maybe you have no idea where to start. What about tying together your legacy systems, integrating third-party tools, or building custom automation triggers?
Tailored tech means there should be no one-size-fits-all approach to implementations.
Customization and integration experience is key to getting your best implementation. Without it, you’re simply using the shell of a tool with no real substance—but it’ll still come with a pretty licensing cost.
A good partner will make sure you get your money’s worth. Like a good tailor, they’ll take that off-the-rack product and expertly nip and tuck at the right places to give your organization the perfect fit. One size fits all never really works—in clothing or in technology.
You know that great feeling when you come home from a long day at work to find dinner already cooked and waiting for you? You should get that same feeling with your implementation, too. Your focus should always be on running your business, not coordinating and executing on an internal implementation. This is one of the biggest pitfalls to self-implementing a large technology project or sacrificing project hours with a partner to keep implementation costs lower.
From requirements gathering to system design, data migration, and change management, the right partner will do all the hard work “in the kitchen” to serve you up a timely, perfectly cooked technology meal.
A lot of organizations tend to focus so much on the hard costs that they overlook the opportunity costs at stake. If you want your tech stack to improve your business, it requires dedicated effort. Rather than designating internal time and resources that you likely don’t have to spare, working with an experienced implementation partner will help you capitalize on your technology investment.
What good is a fancy tool if no one actually uses or understands it? Enter change management.
Getting your team to use and accept a new business tool can be a huge hurdle. But having a knowledgeable, go-to resource for questions and training is your best change management strategy.
Your partner should ramp up your team and train them on how to best use your new solution. Not only will your partner understand your business and processes, but they’ll be able to explain the system so your team not only “gets it” but also understands what it means to their role.
When you work with a skilled implementation partner, you gain a strategic advisor for your business. Not only do they know the tool like the back of their hand, but they can offer valuable guidance on how to best capitalize on opportunities you may not have considered.
Because your implementation isn’t—and shouldn’t be—done after the initial go-live.
“We felt that Eide Bailly really had a step above with how they went to implement Salesforce.”
-Scott Tomes, Bongards Creameries
Keeping your implementation stagnant through the years, despite organizational and operational change, is a toxic practice.
Leaders today need to view their business systems like one of their most valuable employees. And what do you do with your all-star staff? You grow and nurture them, so they continue to perform. Reviewing your tools on a regular cycle and continuing to develop them over time will keep them working along with your business objectives. This is where the right partner can help. They’ll help you frame up your goals and how they relate to your technology. You’ll be able to develop a roadmap for the future, so you see a return on your investment for years to come.
There’s no way to sugarcoat it: going through an implementation is stressful. It’s one of the biggest investments you’ll make, and mistakes can be costly. Technology alone can only take you so far.
It’s the implementation that will make or break your ROI. It’s a high risk, high reward situation. Which is why seeing a return on your investment is always top of mind. The right partner can help you streamline the implementation process and add value to your investment.
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