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ROI of ERP - Part 3 of a 4 Part Series

Posted on 29 April 2014 by Louise Thompson

Selecting the right system and vendor

Selecting the Right System and Vendor

Jim Collins, author of four international bestselling business books notes: “We tend to think that decisions are very much about ‘what.’ But when I look at my research notes or at interview transcripts from the executives we’ve interviewed, one theme that comes through is that their greatest decisions were not ‘what’ but ‘who’. They were people decisions.”

All important decisions are fraught with uncertainties that no degree of planning can eliminate. So what is the key to preparing for that uncertainty? Make sure you have the right people, who you can trust, with you.

Having arrived at the point where the suggested pre-work on the needs for an ERP system is complete, the selection process can begin and the right decision made. Based on the pre-work described in my previous blog, the remaining pieces of pre-work can begin.

  1. Formulate clear and unambiguous policies and guidelines. This process involves making the parameters of the selection explicit. For example, whether to accept a customized solution that adapts to the business, or whether it is more prudent to adapt the business to the system, or even whether you can find a configurable solution that is a close fit with a bit of tailoring, to suit your business.
  2. Formulate a structured, rigorous selection process. From your business processes you will be able to define the core functional requirements. You should also define non-functional requirements such as scalability, and the stability of the vendor.

From all the insights, information and input that have been gathered, you will be able to compile the requirements and criteria for selecting an ERP application for your business.

At this point you can confidently develop a long list of vendors. Based on your requirements and criteria, cull that list to no more than four. Evaluate the vendors by asking for demonstrations to a pre-defined script, and score each one against your requirements and criteria.

A critical part of the success of your ERP is working with a company that can solve the inevitable problems, and also get on with the people in your company they are going to work with. The vendor’s company and the product they install must have a track-record and technical depth that gives you comfort, as well as customers who can endorse and verify what the vendor is telling you.

Great decisions are not only “what” decisions, but “who” - when you are satisfied with the “what,” evaluate the “who.” There is no certainty in any implementation, so it is important to have the right people on your side.

PREVIOUS: Before Selecting a System

NEXT: Managing the Change

Learn how to apply inventory optimization to your business

 

Topics: Business software, ERP systems, Selecting ERP


Louise Thompson

Louise joined SYSPRO in 1985 and has been closely involved in the company’s product development as well as providing services to the six global SYSPRO offices. Her role in SYSPRO forms the link between development and the global marketplace with her goal to empower the SYSPRO offices, resellers and customers through the provision of the right service and support. Louise and her team are responsible for providing product support, training material, SYSPRO certification, and knowledge transfer to customers, either directly or through the SYSPRO offices and resellers.

Given the extensive nature of an ERP system Louise is of the strong belief that the support and services provided by SYSPRO must simplify the customer experience.

 

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