Learn about ERP Software Selection Projects
An ERP Software Selection is probably one of the most difficult projects you will ever manage in your professional career. It is a project that is filled with many potential obstacles and also periods of great excitement. An ERP selection project has many variables and moving parts. One of these challenges is often the ERP Vendors themselves. They are critical to the ERP software selection, but they are not the only consideration. There are many factors to consider when choosing an ERP software and you can find the guides, tools and tips you need on our site to help you be successful.
People often point to the ERP software as the reason why ERP implementations fail. This is not the only cause. It is the People and Processes that cause the most difficulties in evaluating, choosing, and implementing an ERP solution. Successful ERP implementations are built upon a good team, well-defined and thought-out process and matching those processes to the correct ERP Software. However, choosing the right solution based on your specific needs is paramount to your success.
It is our goal at ERP Selection Help to help clear up the selection process and provide useful information and resources to assist you in making an informed choice. We want to help you in determining the Best ERP packages for your company. But more than that, you will find on our site informative articles, tips, and guides to help you choose the best solution for your business. We want to provide you with the information you need to make informed choices and avoid costly problems up front, before you begin your implementation. Also, be sure to join our email list on the sidebar so that you get our updates and various tips on how to select ERP software.
Evaluation Projects can be challenging
A typical ERP selection project can run from a few weeks to several months. During this time several things will occur. (There are variations to this process, but this is often how it proceeds.) Following an established selection methodology will help you succeed.
First will be the review of internal requirements. This is the time in which you want to fully examine your processes. Many people think this occurs during the implementation. While this is partly true, you really want to be creating your best case scenarios for key process flows, such as Taking an Customer Order, through your Accounts Receivable process. It is likely that your current process has many broken steps. You want to think through what your ideal flow from order taking to cash collecting process should be. Additionally, you want to consider the flow from procuring materials or services, through to paying your suppliers.
From these processes, you will identify many key requirements that a system should provide. The goal is not to create the exhaustive list of 1500+ requirements (as was typical 10 or more years ago), rather to create a list of the must-have requirements that the new system must provide. ERP Software has become standardized and most systems handle the basic functions well-enough. What you want to do is find those requirements that are key to your success. What makes your company successful? How do you keep the things that make you successful as a company? Maybe it is exceptional customer service. Then the new system must have a great issue tracking or case management system. Or perhaps it is your ability to deliver products quickly. Then you need a solution with a great supply chain management suite of tools. Capture the requirements that distinguish your processes from other companies. Do not fall into the trap of listing out all of the things your current system does wrong. You will likely get a fix for these in the new system, but you do not want to lose the things that make you successful (and that your current system already manages for you).
The next step will be the broad review of potential vendors to be included in the ERP Selection. This is where you develop your “long list” of vendors. Once you develop your list of potential software vendors for your evaluation, often people send out a Request for Information. This ERP selection stage is where you can narrow down your list to a set of vendors who seem to meet your needs. Once you have completed this, you often will hold a first meeting with these vendors. This is the point at which you each become more familiar with one another. With this completed, a demo is typically set for a few weeks out. This allows the vendors to prepare based on what they have learned from your company and it gives you time to define your criteria for evaluating the vendor’s demo.
Then you demo with 2 or 3 vendors to provide you with a best overview of their software and how it would work at your unique business. Once the demos are complete, the leading two vendors then provide price quotes for the software, the implementation services and any warranty or service level agreements. Then the negotiations begin. Finally after a period of discussions an agreement is reached and a winning vendor is selected. This completes the selection process. This is a significant milestone for the ERP Selection, but only preliminary to the bigger project, the ERP implementation.
Find the right resources for your Evaluation project
There are a number of resources on the web for evaluating and selecting the right Enterprise Resource Planning systems.
One of the first options you should look to, in screening potential ERP Vendors, is our Free Buyers Guide. This provides you with information to help you find the vendors that are a best fit to your needs. This is an amazing resource that saves so much time and energy.
Another site that is useful and the source for many of our buyers guides and references is Software Advice. They provide reviews, user comments, background information on the top ERP solutions. You can get pricing information and arrange demonstrations.
Additionally, there are a number of helpful guidance tips and suggestions for you to be found on throughout our blog.
You can find informative ERP articles in the following categories: