Buying an ERP Solution
Questions you need to answer before buying a new ERP system
Buying a modern ERP solution does not have to be a lengthy and exhausting process, however, it is still one of the most important IT decisions that a company can make. Investing some of your time in doing research, mapping your processes and understanding your own needs will help you when you are planning to buy an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution. Below, we will guide you through the process of buying an ERP solution.
Where do I start?
Figure out what makes your offering truly great and make sure that you look for software functionality that makes you even stronger. Do not limit yourself to the ‘here and now’, think about your future needs and make sure you are looking at solutions that can grow with you.
A modern ERP solution can do more than handle your bare minimum needs and it can be a tool for you to better deliver on your business model. It is important to build your future business on a solution that will serve you well, 10-20 years from now.
Do you want to learn more about how
to implement ERP?
Questions to ask yourself
- What are the true limitations of our current solution?
- What are our critical, unique needs?
- Where are we heading and what will be crucial for us in getting there?
- Which processes of my business scale well and which ones do not?
- Which current systems and processes can we not live without?
- Depending on scope and need, who from our organization should be involved?
- What can we spend and what is our potential ROI?
Talk about your functionality not their product
When you meet up with vendors, do not get dragged into a “cool functionality” debate. Sales people dealing in software are very focused on their own product. They are usually technically driven and sometimes they have a hard time applying technical functionality to what the customer actually needs. Make sure you are talking about your functionality and not their product.
Two key goals during the process
Essentially you should be looking for a solution that will help you maximize internal efficiency and you should be looking at a solution to strengthen your ability to deliver customer value over time. If and when you feel stuck or confused you can go back to this and ask yourself, does this help us to be more efficient and does this ad value for our clients.
Yes you have to do your homework, know your strengths and weaknesses, but it the vendors job to tell you what the best practises for your industry are and essentially how their solution can help you. Keep this in mind to collect as much valuable information as possible and get the most out of the meeting.
Evaluating ERP vendors
The efficient step-by-step process to reach a decision should look like this:
- Industry niche players?
- Challenge them to understand your business and identify your key processes
- Look for a vendor that can understand why you do what you do, and how they can help
- Get a first overview demonstration
Define a process together with the vendor
What are the unique requirements for your business?
Get a more detailed demonstration based on unique needs
Get the offer for implementation step #1
- Solution fit
- Short-term / long-term benefits
- Implementation costs
- Software investment
- Cost of ownership