ERP on Your Terms: Commitment to your success and reputable service after the sale help turn your business vision into reality.

Your choice of a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution will have long-term consequences for your business. So take your time and consider every aspect of your decision-you don't want to miss any important details. For the past several weeks, we've been publishing a blog series to help guide you through the process. Each week, we've identified a question you should get answered on your way to finding the ERP solution that's right for your business. You can review the discussion being generated via Twitter at #ERPONYOURTERMS.

Our first questions were aimed at helping you evaluate the capabilities of different ERP solutions. More recently, we've moved on to questions that help you evaluate ERP vendors. In the latest post, for example, we advised you to challenge providers on their technology roadmaps and R&D investments. This is a crucial step in helping you choose an agile and innovative ERP vendor, capable of growing with your business and adapting to your changing needs. This week's question draws your attention to another vendor-related topic: choosing an ERP vendor known for long-term customer relationships, great ongoing service, and a network of local implementers that will be there to support you after the sale.

What is the vendor's customer churn rate and reputation for service after the sale?

Post-sale service is critical for successful ERP implementation. It's also an essential part of helping you get the most out of your ERP investment throughout its life. New tax rules will emerge. You might expand your lines of business or add new locations. Your product offering and customer base, along with their expectations of you, will continue to evolve. The list goes on, but the point is that conditions will change. And because your ERP solution is at the heart of your business, it's important to choose a vendor that not only delivers the functionality you need but, equally important, also offers service and support after the sale. To choose a vendor that can help you manage changes, here are three specific points to check.

  • Does the vendor offer customer support resources that are located near you? Or is support available through a qualified network of local resellers? If neither statement applies, you could be surprised with significant travel and lodging charges when you need after-sale support services.
  • Is the vendor's ERP solution well-known in your area and in your industry? If so, it will be easier and more economical to find and tap into assistance for implementation, support, and ongoing engagement.
  • Does the vendor or their reselling partners offer a full range of customer support skills and capabilities? Expertise with the specific ERP solution you're evaluating is essential, of course. But could the vendor's support team also help you with customer relationship management, productivity software, and other applications you want to integrate with your ERP? How about their experience with both on-premises and cloud-based ERP solutions, or a hybrid solution involving both approaches?

Ask the ERP vendors on your short list about the scope and cost of their customer support plans, as well as references within their customer base. Providers that have earned a reputation for excellent ongoing service and support will be able to point to long-term relationships with satisfied customers. Also, inquire about their customer churn rate: are they losing customers faster than they add them? Unhappy customers part ways with vendors that are accessible and responsive before the sale, but who become harder to find and work with once the contract is signed.  

Why Microsoft Dynamics ERP?

Microsoft Dynamics has a long history of customer service and community, with a strong reputation for service after the sale. And our network of reselling partners around the word offer their own local support and service programs that keep you and your business moving forward after the initial implementation. Our customer community rivals any in the industry, with well-established user groups, online discussion forums and Convergence, our annual customer conference. With more than 300,000 Microsoft Dynamics customers worldwide, some customer churn is inevitable, but we take pride in our customer retention and satisfaction benchmarks, and our strong reputation for providing service after the sale.

Customer Stories

Don't just take our word. Read how our customers are investing in their future using Microsoft Dynamics ERP.

D'Arrigo Brothers Company of Massachusetts: Terminal Market Produce Distributor Takes Charge of Operations with ERP Software  

headON Communication: Electronics Distributor Connects Systems to Simplify Operations, Enable Executive Control

CompassLearning: Education Technology Leader Controls Business, Streamlines Finance with Cloud-Based ERP

To learn more about Microsoft Dynamics ERP for small and mid-sized businesses visit:

To this point in our series, we've identified key questions that focus on both the ERP solution itself and on the vendor providing it. Join us next week, when we'll look at the most fundamental question of all:

Will the ERP solution help drive and support our growth aspirations?

 Until next week,

Jen Dorsey