ERP Vendor Selection: Vetting for experience and quality
In speaking with several of my clients over the last couple of weeks, I heard a common theme. For them, the most difficult part of selecting and implementing a new process was the fear of change. Indeed, even more than the cost, managing change was the most important consideration. I can certainly understand that and I’ve found having a plan can help. There are several key pieces to a good plan and one of the most important decisions will be selecting the right partner. Here are a few things to consider:
One of my favorite clients summed it up succinctly, cost isn't the most important consideration when this is going to fundamentally improve our operations. Having said that, it’s important to make an informed decision about the caliber of the company implementing the software. The ERP decision is a critical one, and it is crucial that the software team be experienced and knowledgeable--having already helped other companies of your type and size, with similar business challenges.
Long before your software “goes live,” you begin an ERP implementation trajectory that is difficult to change. You need to collaborate with an experienced ERP software team through preparation and consultation. You should include them in all of your planning and in return, they should be bringing ideas and expertise. It is critical to utilize a company that offers a quality solution with knowledgeable installation and well-informed technical support.
Can their software work across a variety of platforms, integrate with other software, and is it constantly updated with new features to improve processes. Do they have the experience to make recommendations to streamline and grow your business, in some cases without expansion (hiring on).
This is the first in the series of articles about successfully vetting an experienced ERP software vendor. This series will cover: Selecting a Vendor, Consulting, Navigating Change, Scrubbing Data, Leadership, Assembling a Team, Testing, User Training, ROI, and Defining Goals.