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When Does Using an Independent Contractor Make Sense?

When your company needs consulting help with your Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (also known as Microsoft Dynamics NAV or Navision) system, where do you turn? There are several options available when this need arises. The first and best option is to have internal resources that can tackle this effort. But if you don’t have these resources or they are beyond what your internal team can handle, then what?

Do you call your partner or call a contractor?

What are the Advantages of Contractors?

Lower Cost

Because contractors are typically self-employed, they have lower overhead. Thus, the hourly rate you pay for your contractor is often lower than you pay for in-house personnel or a Microsoft Dynamics Partner.

More Flexible

Self-employed people also typically have more flexibility with their schedules. They support fewer customers and usually have complete control over their schedule. So, when you have a need, a contractor usually accommodates your schedule. This advantage is particularly useful when an unplanned project or support item comes up.

Dedicated to your Company

It is common for contractors to work with a small handful of customers, which allows them to spend more time on-site with your company focusing on your needs. This dedication can be helpful when a project will run for a long time and when you want to ensure you have the continuity of presence and focus from a single individual.

What about your Microsoft Dynamics Partner?

Hopefully, you have a good working relationship with a dedicated Microsoft Dynamics partner. Your partner should have a solid understanding of your general business and your plans for the next 6-18 months. Therefore, if something comes up all you need to do is contact your dedicated customer engagement person to begin a conversation. Working with your partner provides many advantages.

An ongoing relationship with a trusted resource

The relationship you develop with your Microsoft Dynamics Partner deepens over time. If both your company and your partner are investing time into getting to know one another, the work you send to your partner is just one more way to strengthen that relationship. Your partner team should also have an established track record with your business, so you know them and trust them.

An understanding of your specific business

Understanding your business and your industry are critical to providing great solutions. If you have a partner who has developed this understanding with you over time, you are probably in good hands. Continuing to work closely with your partner only adds to their knowledge base and makes them more valuable to you in the future.

Knowledgeable Staff

A deep bench matters when the project is large or complicated. Your Microsoft Dynamics Partner likely has dedicated support resources and subject-matter experts in finance, operations, warehouse, CRM, field service, project management, and more. ERP systems are complicated. By having a solid relationship with a firm that provides you access to a deep bench of knowledgeable professionals, your company gets valuable advice without having to pay for that person to be on your payroll. Also, your partner’s team works together every day. When they need to take a cross-functional approach, you know your partner’s team members know one another and work well together.

Direct Access to Microsoft

Sometimes you simply need access to the manufacturer of the software. Sometimes you need access to engineers that only the largest software company in the world can employ. Whatever the case, your partner’s relationship with Microsoft via their Advanced Support Plan ensures that you get the escalated support you need when the going gets tough.

The Key Question: What are Your Objectives?

As you can see, choosing between calling on your Microsoft Dynamics Partner or hiring an independent contractor involves weighing many factors. Ultimately, it comes down to what your objectives are and what is most important to your business.

If you value lower cost, flexibility, and the dedication that comes with having a small client base, you might be best served by an independent contractor. However, if you need access to highly knowledgeable teams that know your system and business well (as well as have a direct line to Microsoft), you should seriously consider coming to your partner with your project.

Are you an Innovia client who wants to get started on a new project now? Or maybe you are on the market for a partner that brings all the positive benefits we listed above to the table? Reach out to us and let us know what you need for your business:

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