Beware the consultant who promises to implement a new automated process to cure all your business flow problems. Smile and say “no thanks” if they’ve never implemented the process for a business like yours. You will save yourself thousands of dollars and your employees’ frayed nerves.
I speak from experience. Small businesses are susceptible to this behavior. Some small business IT consultants who lack expertise swim in small to medium business waters looking for desperate clients.
Once you’re on the hook and your IT department lacks new process knowledge, consultants bill you for every problem they fix. I saw it run into the thousands of dollars.
How do you avoid this money pit? Thoroughly vet your implementation consultant, confirming they’ve completed more than one successful project with the technology in your industry. Assign a knowledgeable team from your employee pool who work within the current process.
This pairing assures a well-designed automated process that integrates with your other operations and makes sense to the employees. This pairing saves training time and downtime caused by a significant error, such as being unable to ship products.
Ensure your contract spells out all your requirements, including the use of third-party contractors. Emphasize goals, and set milestones to keep everyone on track and minimize surprises. You and the consultant need to agree on the specific result you expect.
Avoid too much customization. It’s challenging to change down the road. And we know change is a constant, so build the system to absorb changes without lots of hassle.
Author: Kris Keppeler is a writer who finds technology fascinating and loves humor. She writes on Medium.com, Channillo, and Women of Wisdom. An award-winning podcast producer who enjoys telling funny stories. Follow her @KrisKKAria on Twitter or on LinkedIn.