Value Added Resellers (VARs) offer significant value to businesses when selecting and implementing ERP software. VARs can help clarify functional requirements, identify software solutions, implement those solutions efficiently, and make sure staff receives ample training. They can help businesses create unique, custom reports that guide management to the best business decisions. In short, the value of VARs is high. VAR’s implementation services can shave weeks, months, and even years off any ERP implementation. That’s real value!
What is a VAR?
A VAR (Value Added Reseller) is a company that buys software directly from a software vendor, then adds features or services and sells it to a business as a complete, turn-key solution. Sound like a scam? Quite the contrary. VARs add significant value. By using a VAR, the price that a company would pay for ERP software is likely no higher than if it were to be purchased directly from the vendor. In addition to paying competitive prices for software, your business stands to gain from the VAR’s experience, insight, and professional implementation and training services. For every dollar a business pays a VAR in services, they’ll likely save ten.
Why Can’t We Implement Our ERP Software Ourselves?
You certainly can, and many of our customers do – quite successfully; however, not all businesses are able to serve up a full-time or even a part-time implementation coordinator to ensure their implementation runs smoothly. Frequently, overworked department heads try to spearhead an ERP implementation in addition to the demands of their day jobs. For those that are tech-savvy, have experience with data conversion, and are willing to oversee their staff’s training, this arrangement can work. But for the vast majority of firms, contracting with a VAR to lead ERP an implementation greatly improves their chances of completing their implementation on time and under budget.
Are VARs Expensive?
On average, for every dollar a company spends on ERP software, it spends a dollar to two on professional services. Many VARs offer different types or levels of implementation services, from the bare basics of helping get your data converted to a complete hand-holding from start to finish.
What Else Does a VAR Do?
By working with an experienced consultant who has helped hundreds of companies like yours, VARs also offer insights into standard business processes that your company might benefit from. For example, our professional services partners have worked with distribution and light manufacturing companies for years, and can offer examples of how others in your industry have cut warehouse costs, cleaned up their AR, automated their AP, etc. In addition, VARs can help with implementing other add-on integrated software solutions that can extend the functionality of your ERP software. For example, Accolent ERP has integrations with applications for AP automation, business intelligence, CRM, freight carriers, online spend management, sales tax, etc. Some can offer advice about how to manage your IT spend and are very knowledgeable about how to leverage technology to your advantage. So even though you might contract with the VAR for a limited scope like ERP implementation or data conversion, you end up gaining a lot of additional information that can help you succeed.
What to Look for in a VAR?
The best VARs are focused on your budget, your needs, and your success. Shy away from VARs that have a one-size-fits-all approach, and look for VARs that have several tiers, or implementation ‘styles’. Be clear about how much time you or your staff can allocate to your implementation so your consultant can give you an accurate quote.
Prior to the explosion of cloud software, VARs traditionally served their own geographical regions, and as a result, your company was pretty much guaranteed to be on the same time zone as your consultant. That is no longer the case. With cloud software, it really doesn’t matter what coast your VAR is on, as long as it is able to support you during your business hours.
How to Find a VAR?
To find an Accolent ERP professional services partner (VAR), please contact us.