7 ERP Demonstration Best Practices to Ensure Proper System Selection

So, you’ve chosen a handful of ERP solutions to evaluate, you’ve contacted vendors, and now it’s time for the big software demo. This is an important step and there are a number of ways you can derail your demo; potentially leading you to choose the wrong system. Here are 7 ERP demonstration best practices to help you make sure you use your demo time most effectively and with the best outcome.

  1. Form a demo team that will sit in on each demo. Be sure this team represents the different areas and major processes of your company.
  2. Make a schedule. Sit down with the team prior to the demo and come up with your list of features and functions you would like to see; try and come up with how long each will take so you can fit everyone in during the time allotted for your demo
  3. Write it down. Demo’s can be long and extremely detailed so if you don’t take notes, there is no way you will remember everything you see, hear, or think during the demo. This is especially important if you are evaluating multiple systems.
  4.  It can be very helpful to come up with a score sheet that addresses your main concerns when it comes to the system and the vendor demonstrating it. Hand the score sheet out to each team member prior to the demonstration so each member can score the demonstration, keep the vendors and solutions straight, and you can compare notes as a group after the demonstrations.
  5. Know your demo options. There are 3 common types of demo options available out there, video demo’s, free trials, and vendor guided. Below we focus on the vendor guided demo, but each option has its very own set of pros and cons. Learn more here.
  6. Prep the Vendor. With the many different modules available in ERP systems today, it’s important to discuss what you would like to see with the vendor, your requirements, and your industry before the demo. This gives them the opportunity to prepare their presentation around the functions and features relevant to your specific needs so you are not wasting time looking at features and functions that do not apply to your operations.
  7. Compare apples to apples. If you are evaluating more than one software system you will likely be a part of multiple demos. It is very important to make sure you evaluate and compare the same functions in each system; otherwise you will not have an accurate comparison.
  8. Note the process. How many steps does it take to complete a critical yet repetitive task? The goal of an ERP system is to make you more efficient and automate as many tasks as possible. Be sure to take this into consideration during the ERP software demonstration.

While getting the demo and selection taken care of is a huge relief to those shopping for a new ERP system, there is much more to worry about after that once you get ready to implement. Download this white paper to help you avoid the 8 deadly sins of ERP implementation.

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