Microsoft Dynamics GP is a business management solution for mid-market businesses. This Microsoft enterprise resource planning (ERP) software automates and streamlines your practices and back-end operations to improve productivity and efficiency. Since Dynamics GP covers so many areas of your business — such as financial management, warehouse and inventory management, service management, project management, business intelligence, human resources, and manufacturing — it’s challenging to use efficiently without the help of an expert.
Therefore, many businesses hire a consultant, usually through a Microsoft partner organization, to help them use this comprehensive ERP software most effectively. Unfortunately, not all consultants (or partner companies) will be a good fit for your business. So, you must take care to choose the right one. This article will explore how you can pick the right Microsoft Dynamics GP consultant for your business. Simply follow the tips below to ensure you find the best Microsoft partner and Dynamics GP consultant for your business’s needs!
Determine your business needs
The first step in choosing a consultant is determining your business needs. What areas of your business do you need help with? Which areas are you already performing well in?
Taking the time to determine what your business needs the most help with can help you create a detailed position description for the potential partners you talk to. This can help you more effectively assess whether a particular Microsoft partner or Dynamics GP consultant will have the required skills and experience to help your business in the areas you are having difficulty.
Some common reasons a business may opt for an MS Dynamics GP consultant include:
- software implementation,
- employee training, or
- assisting with troubleshooting.
Research potential Dynamics GP consultants
Once you have determined what you want in a Microsoft partner company and GP consultant, it is time to research potential options. If you’ve ever looked for a consultant, you know there are seemingly endless options today. Because of the wide variety of partner businesses and consultants available, you must do your research before selecting one. Not all partners nor consultants have the same areas of expertise, experience, or skill sets.
You want to ensure the Microsoft partner company and consultant you select will be the best fit for your business — there is no one-size-fits-all Dynamics GP consultant. Now, you may wonder where the best place to find consultants is if you do not know where to begin. Typically, the best places to start your search are direct references (word of mouth) or online directories.
During your search, it is crucial that you look for only Microsoft partner companies who have experience with businesses like your own — and have a track record of success and satisfied prior clients. This is one of the best ways to ensure the consultant you are bringing on will understand your business and be able to provide the help you need. Sometimes, this information can be challenging to find, especially if you are looking into consultants recommended by word of mouth. In these situations, you’ll need to ask the consultant directly for this information, bringing us to our next tip.
Ask the right questions
The goal of asking questions is to determine whether the Microsoft partner company and consultant can provide you with the help you need. Remember, not all consultants will have the same experiences and skills, so you need to assess whether a consultant will meet your needs.
Some critical questions to ask potential consultants include:
- What experience do you have with Microsoft Dynamics GP?
- Can you provide references or testimonials from previous clients you have worked with?
- What industries have you worked with?
- What is your approach to problem-solving?
- How do you handle project management?
- How did you direct change management in previous Dynamics GP implementations?
Ask the consultant questions about their references or previous experience to help you determine if their previous clients are like your business and if their previous work aligns with the type of help you need. This helps you determine whether the consultant has the skills and experience to assist your business. The more open-ended questions help you better understand how the consultant approaches their position. This includes how they expect to address any challenges and how they can support your business’s objectives and priorities.
Evaluate the Dynamics GP consultant’s communication skills
Once you’ve come up with a few Microsoft partners who have consultants on staff whom you think may be a good fit for your business’s needs, it is time to establish a communication baseline. Clear and effective communication is the key to any good consultant-client relationship. Because of this, you need to assess whether the consultant matches your preferred methods of communication before signing them on.
While we cannot provide a definitive answer on what method of communication is the best because each business will have its preferences, we recommend you look for a consultant that shares this preference. You can determine a consultant’s preferred communication style by asking them directly how they prefer to communicate with their clients or by observing them in meetings or initial consultation appointments.
If you want to ensure that the consultant can communicate effectively with you and your team throughout the project. Being upfront about communication skills can save you a lot of time and irritation later.
Consider the consultant’s pricing and availability
Pricing and availability are two other critical factors to consider when selecting a Microsoft partner or Dynamics GP consultant. For example, you may find a consultant who seems like a perfect fit for your business, only to find out they are unavailable until next season or outside your price range. While this is frustrating, it is a part of the process, and you may have to decline a proposal if it is not within your budget or required timeframe.
Remember, the pricing and availability that work best for your business may differ completely from another business in your industry. This is another reason taking the time to pick your Microsoft partner is critical. Some may have a standard pricing estimate, while others may operate on a project-by-project basis. To determine a partner’s pricing and scheduling, asking them for a proposal or requesting information about their schedule is typically best.
In summary, to ensure that you find the best Dynamics GP consultant for your business, you’ll need to:
- determine what you need,
- take your time researching your options,
- ask questions about their experiences and skills,
- discuss communication preferences,
- consider whether their pricing and availability will work for your business.
As we’ve mentioned before, it is essential to take your time to find a consultant for your business — especially when they are for something so important as your Microsoft Dynamics GP software. Spending a little more time in the selection process can save you a lot of time halfway through your implementation or change process when you realize the Microsoft partner company or consultant you chose does not have the right skills to help you.
For more tips on how to find the right Dynamics GP consultant for your business, check out our eBook for a step-by-step guide!