Credibility & Trust
One way to ensure the team you are partnering with aligns what they say and what they do is to do a couple of tests early on to see if the words and actions match.
Much like personality and culture, this could be difficult to vet, but talking with references can also help. In the reference calls, ask questions beyond how did the integrator perform or how did you like them. Ask about communication style, drive, etc. to ensure there will be a good fit for your group.
Transparency is King
This one almost went without saying, but it is too important to miss.
Review how the project will be communicated through different stages. See what the escalation points are within the integrator and how the integrator will work with the software team when issues arise.
All in, make sure that you are comfortable with how the positive and negative situations will be addressed.
We may be a little bias, but we are firm believers that the integrator channel partner chosen for IT services should be certified by the software vendor, whether this is for a MercuryGate TMS or for any other software package.
Don’t take our word for it,there are many articles on the topic. For example, “Why Buy Software from a VAR Partner vs. the Vendor?”
Know Your Integrator Has the Tools & Expertise
MercuryGate does a tremendous job in helping buyers of their system align with integrators that do have the tools and expertise, as the people they officially endorse on their site are long-time users of the software themselves.
Choose a Certified MercuryGate Channel Partner
You really do not want to bring in a “traditional” IT services or consulting firm to work your MercuryGate implementation or provide ongoing support. The reason is while they will have the IT skills and they will have an understanding on how to make a company’s logistics and supply chain optimal on paper, they will not have the in-depth knowledge and experience to make the MercuryGate platform do what it needs to do to turn an idea into execution.
Again, we are not here to take away anything from the other IT or consulting services providers, we are simply stating that there is a place for all, be sure to choose the “right tool” for the job.
For example, one would not take their Timex watch into the same place they would take their Rolex for repairs. Sure, the watch repair jeweler understands the make-up of a watch and how it functions, but there is a higher level of skill and knowledge that is gained by doing the work and being able to take the tribal knowledge learned over time by working on the same complex issues day in and day out.