Business today is evolving. With the incoming effect of Industry 4.0, many organizations are now working towards building a smart factory in order to increase the number of high-quality products in less time-to-market and at a lower cost.
Achieving this comes with its own set of challenges. In a recent study by SMB Group and Vistage, 90% of surveyed CEOs reported that technology is changing their business in significant ways. However, only 51% have a digital business strategy underway.
Striving to transform your organization digitally and achieve operational excellence is no small feat. Evolving your business means assessing everything, from workflows to software solutions to staff resources and more, all while maintaining production and managing present-day challenges.
One of the most efficient ways to achieve both short-term success and long-term vision is by working with a partner — particularly a value-added reseller (VAR).
What is a VAR?
A value-added reseller (VAR) is typically defined as a company that resells software, hardware and networking products and places emphasis on providing value beyond order fulfillment.
The “value beyond order fulfillment” can take many forms. Traditionally, it meant adding features or services to existing software solutions and then reselling it to end-users as a “turn-key” solution.
However, as business continues to evolve, so does the definition of a VAR.
Today’s VARs offer comprehensive and exhaustive added value in other ways — specifically, through professional services. Offers can include consultation, implementation, ongoing support, training, and more. Through these professional services, a VAR grows to truly understand its partner businesses and is an essential part of helping them exceed their operational goals.
Find the right solution for your business
According to research from Capterra, the average small-to-medium business spends approximately 25.7 months going through the software purchase cycle, with about 18 of those months spent on researching, evaluating, and selecting a system.
Even with investing that time on selection, it’s still quite common for businesses to choose the wrong solution.
ERP funding expert, Igor Chigrin, recently told us that one of the biggest issues that businesses seeking ERP funding run into is picking the wrong solution. They might get the funding but realize two years down the road that the ERP solution they picked doesn’t truly address their business needs.
The way to avoid a costly misdiagnosis and speed up the selection process is to start with the problem first.
VARs take the time to truly understand your business before recommending a solution — and in some cases, the solution they recommend might not even be software-related or might be found in an existing product your team is already using. Research and expert knowledge enable them to truly recommend the best solution for your needs.
You can also garner economies of scale by working with a VAR. They find software solutions that do more and exceed the targets and outcomes you have set at a lower cost to your business.
Feel powerful support from day one to year five and beyond
Even after you select the right solution, you still need a plan for building it into your business.
According to ERP Focus, 95% of ERP projects that failed dedicated less than 10% of the total budget to education, training, and change management.
Support doesn’t end at product purchase. In fact, your support should start well before that and continue long after. With a VAR, that’s exactly what you receive. Technical questions, upgrades and termination of mainstream support will be stresses of the past.
You can also find support for planning beyond the technical specifications. A partner will help implement the solution; plan your data migration and develop a single source of truth; create a realistic project budget and timeframe; plan for ongoing staff onboarding; make tough decisions (such as to customize or not to customize), and so on.
A VAR can help with it all — with no extra resources needed for your company.
Execute long-term strategic vision while meeting day-to-day business challenges
Planning a long-term strategic vision while managing daily operational demands is a delicate balance — particularly in a fast-changing industry. You want to have an eye towards crafting a smart factory, but orders may be piling up today. You want to create more products, but you may have a shortage of skilled labour.
Present-day challenges and long-term strategies often go hand-in-hand. The very same technological, workflow, and operational issues that are affecting you today can also be hindering your future growth.
And the very same solution can help you resolve both: your partner.
- If facing challenges with inventory production sustainability, a partner can help create efficiencies in your material requirements planning (MRP) process — that will also help you grow your long-term product line
- If data security is a concern, a partner can ensure your software is upgraded consistently and you have adequate support
- If skilled labour shortages are affecting your team, a partner can add another resource at a lower cost, while helping you find efficiencies within your current staff and identifying areas for reskilling
- If time-to-market needs to be faster, a partner will identify ways to speed up production while keeping overhead efficient — and create a scalable model for the future
- If traceability and industry regulations aren’t being met, a partner will work with you to find a workflow that ensures they are incorporated
While all of these challenges can tie back to the software solution you choose, they often go beyond the technology. A VAR partner contributes to both, making recommendations to achieve present-day operational excellence that also support your vision for the future.
End-to-end business transformation and ongoing optimization
Achieving business excellence is a long-term journey, and a value-added reseller partner is your guide. The right VAR is more than just a software vendor — they are your strategic partner in end-to-end transformation and ongoing optimization.
Look for a VAR who works within your industry and business size. Consider the scope of their expertise and whether it meets your business goals, needs, and culture. Ask about a VAR’s track record and review any case studies or testimonials available. Speak with other clients of your prospective VAR to see what their experience was like.
With the right partner, you can maximize your technology investment while ensuring that all aspects of your organization are aligned for the long-term vision.
SHEA Global has a proven track record of helping our clients achieve operational excellence. Contact us for digital transformation consulting and more to see how we can help you achieve business better.