What is an RFP?
An ERP RFP (Request for Proposal) is a document that covers everything about your business from head to toe. It explains what your business needs from ERP so what you expect to get out of it. It includes your company description, your budget, and basically everything a vendor needs to know to decide whether they will be the right fit for your company. This helps to decrease the amount of time you would waste looking into a vendor who may not be even close what you are looking for. So, how do you create an ERP RFP? We’ve included everything you should have in an ERP RFP below.
- Company Background
It is best not to leave any stone unturned in this category. List the size of your company, how many locations you have and where, what your revenue is, what industry you’re in, etc. It is important to give specifics on how you currently operate and how you would like to operate. A vendor will need to know if their ERP can work within your company.
- Establish Timelines
Establishing a timeline from the very beginning will help you get a good idea about who the vendor is. If you give them two weeks to get back to you, and you don’t hear from them, that may be a sign of how well they will meet your implementation timeline. You should include set dates for interviews, demos, decisions and implementation so the vendor knows if they can meet your criteria.
- Set a Budget
With the many different ERP options on the market come many different pricing options. Be clear with how much you can spend on ERP, and this isn’t just the software itself. Come up with a budget for the implementation process and how much you can spend on maintenance. Both you and the vendor will be thankful to know if you aren’t in each other’s price range.
- List Criteria
There are many different functions in ERP that you may want, but it is most important that you list the absolute needs. For example, if you’re a process manufacturer you may absolutely need recall control, while a bank needs a strong budgeting and forecasting module. You can quickly narrow down the list of vendors with a “Needs” list if they can’t accommodate it.
- Ask for Success Stories
Don’t just ask for any success stories, ask for ones that are similar to your company in size and industry. This will show you if the vendor truly can meet your needs, or if they may have never worked with a company like yours before. Later, you can ask for these companies as a reference and find out how they feel about the customer service and reliability.
An ERP RFP doesn’t just save the vendor time by weeding out those that aren’t right for them, but it saves you time. You won’t have to deal with vendors who may not be the right fit for you at all and waste precious time. This will also allow you time to sit down and truly think about what you want out of the ERP system and what your business needs to change, something you will have to do before implementation anyway.