Have you ever heard that long distance relationships don't work? I've heard it hundreds of times over the years from friends, television, books, magazines, etc. The assessment of the long distance relationship and all the sentiments surrounding it have become so clichéd that it's like listening to Charlie Brown's teacher. So, like any kid in a boring lecture, I've tuned it out. The long distance relationship didn't really affect me personally anyway, so it was even more reason to tune out the Wahh, Wahhh, Wahhhhhh.
What is true about long distance relationships? They are everywhere in business, and they work. Consider your vendors, customers, and all the people that you interact with on a daily basis while at work. These are relationships. You nurture them, and therefore, they are satisfying and productive.
With the technology and capabilities that we have now to communicate, I was surprised that there are actual companies that still feel compelled to find a local ERP vendor. Especially when, according to Adam Bluemner's article, "What Every Business Software Buyer Should Know about Remote Implementation", "The average software buyer is located nearly three times as far away from their vendor in 2014 and they were in 2001."
This isn't produce, people. Buying local food is a whole different ballgame than allocating a significant budget for ERP Software upgrades or purchases.
We use remote communication in business on a daily basis and ERP vendors have mastered the use of remote access software and how to guide clients through the process of implementation. In fact, the outcome and overall satisfaction of clients that have chosen remote implementation is not that different than those who have chosen onsite implementation.
According to Bluemner, there are six things that you should do when considering a remote implementation:
1. Use online communication tools during product selection. This will allow you to fully investigate ERP software packages.
2. Check references. Ask how many remote implementations the provider has done, and ask for remote client references.
3. Detailed implementation plan. The ERP implementation provider should be able to create a detailed implementation plan with your input, that will meet your needs.
4. Security. Make sure that the proper security measures are in place. This is your data, keep it safe by asking about encryption and two factor authentication.
5. Internal technical support. Make sure that there is someone that can provide internal technical support that can assist if necessary from your site.
6. Ongoing support. Gain a clear understanding of the provision for ongoing support, updates, and any future technical assistance.
The popularity and efficiency of these remote implementation projects has proven that long distance relationships do work, and can be extremely rewarding.