Consider the Boutique Route on HCM System Implementation

November 28, 2017

Written by Reggie Wilson

An often-underappreciated task beyond the selection of a Human Capital Management (HCM) system is the path to a complete and successful implementation. After all, you have completed the most challenging portion of the due diligence process in negotiating those software licenses, right? Not quite. Executing the agreement for the software licenses is only half the journey, as the implementation process is critical and should be treated as such.

All too often I have observed organizations taking the “cookie cutter” route when evaluating and selecting an implementation firm. Their approach is to go the traditional IT route and utilize vendors in that space who just might have some HCM implementation expertise; however, those services are not necessarily spotlighted in their portfolio. These firms are typically large and are not very cost conscious when managing a project for a client. The client might even have an existing or past relationship with the firm, therefore they can be in a comfort zone.

The larger implementation firms are certainly good at several services, but might not be great with the service that you require.  An alternative to consider is the smaller, boutique implementation firm.  The successful “boutiques” are very adept at delivering a small number of very high-quality services.  Typically, the boutiques can present a better overall value proposition in terms of cost avoidances.  Some factors that do influence those cost avoidances are:

  1. Lower rate structures than larger firms for the same services due to lower overhead.
  2. No concerns with overstaffing on a project and billing for unproductive time.
  3. A subset of #2 is lower travel costs due to a smaller number of consultants.

The theme here is that bigger is certainly not always better, no matter the size of your HCM platform or your organization.  Why potentially overpay for service when it is not necessary?  Sorry, the peace of mind reasoning just does not work here.

Now of course, there is the requisite due diligence that is necessary when evaluating a boutique firm, however you can uncover some gems in the process.   If you’re thinking about implementing a new system, consider an HCM boutique firm like HRchitect, who is widely considered one of the best strategic implementation firms. With over a thousand successful HCM implementation projects over the past two decades, HRchitect is your best insurance policy for a successful implementation. Our services span from helping organizations create HCM technology strategic plans, evaluation and selection services for new or replacement systems, change management, and implementation services.

About Reggie Wilson

Reggie has over 20 years of technology sales experience that ranges from Telecom to Human Capital Management systems. He joined HRchitect in 2013 as a Regional Sales Manager, and leads the sales efforts in the 15 state central region of the US as well as central Canada. Reggie has worked with clients from mid-market to enterprise scale, who have deployed solutions ranging from Workforce Management to Core HR systems.