Vetting System Implementation Vendors: Are you inheriting the dream or a nightmare?

March 27, 2018


For the past 16 years, I have worked on system implementation projects in various roles: Business Analyst, Requirements Specialist, Project Manager, along with a variety of training and change management roles. After all these years, I’ve finally decided that I cannot take it any longer. Time for a good ol’ fashion rant!


As we have gained a new client for a large visible system implementation, it’s time for me to say: CALLING all future clients who have plans in 2018 to roll out a new system to support with efficiency, productivity, (whatever your goal is _____), take a moment to “pause for the cause” to properly vet your system implementation vendor.


Yes, we all know about RFIs, RFPs, oral presentations, interviews, and references, but are you asking the right questions OR are you being wooed into a dream with bright decks, colorful pictures and extensive methodologies? Are you starry eyed by proposal submissions full of senior level resources with wonderful head shots and bios that make you drool, only to have a junior consultant billing WHILE learning on the job!? OR are you so in love with the BIG name of the Bidder that you buckle at the knees and can’t wait to jump in system heaven with them based on their experience, only to realize you have jumped into…. well, let’s just say it’s the opposite of those Pearly Gates.


This has got to stop!  Millions and millions of dollars are being wasted and dreams are being sold, only for you to eventually realize you are in a nightmare. BUT… there is HOPE… Hope to know HOW to dig… not even that deep, to get to the heart of understanding what your system implementation vendor does bring to the table for your organization. Truly analyze, understand and read between the lines of what they are offering, how they can support you and how they plan to manage your project.


Three ways you can improve your system implementation vendor vetting process:


  1. Solution Balance: Does the system implementation vendor have a balance of solutions within people, processes and technology or are they technically heavily in their solution?

  2. References: How did the vendor rank among their previous clients? Take the time to dive deep into their references.

  3. Trial Period: In addition to a software demo where the system vendor may be performing the system tasks, ask for a software trial period where you can take your requirements, create scenarios and work them into your trial period to confirm the software and vendor are a match to your needs.


This is where we, at Nexlevel, can support you. By serving as your Trusted Advisors, we focus on collaboration with YOU to implement innovative and sustainable best practices, aligned with YOUR organization’s vision and business strategy. Yes, we focus on your needs as opposed to a “one size fits all” cookie cutter approach.  Our expertise in enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementations, organizational change management, training and integrated accounts receivable solutions has supported our clients to achieve effective business transformation completions, best practice processes, standards and tools to deploy and sustain measurable solutions.


When you are ready to build a sustainable framework to achieve long term success by properly knowing what questions to ask as you vet your system implementation vendors, please contact us for a complementary assessment. 


Now, put down those “rose colored” glasses. It’s time to get to work!

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