How to Get the Most Out of Your Manufacturing ERP Software Demo

When selecting manufacturing ERP software, it is important to see the software in action before choosing to implement it. This seems pretty obvious, but in 2013 only one-third of ERP buyers did not even demo a system before selecting it, according to a survey by Capterra.  This is a terrible mistake that could cost your company countless hours and thousands of dollars in the long run. To avoid this costly blunder, schedule a demo with vendors to gain a better understanding of each ERP system in consideration. Here are a few tips to ensure this goes smoothlyand truly helps you make a confident decision during final ERP selection.

This will vary based on the systems and vendors you are working with, but typically there are 3 types of product demonstrations available: video, free trial, and vendor guided.  Each option has its own pros and cons, so be sure to know which one will benefit your company the most. No matter which option you choose, be sure to put together a demo team that represents different areas of your company that will sit in on the demo.

No matter which demo option you choose, here are three tips to help you get the most out of your manufacturing ERP software demonstration:

Create a list of functions you wish to see: Taking a blind approach to an ERP software demo will ultimately prove the experience to be a waste of time.  To get the most out of the demo, come up with a list of functions you want to see live and dont be afraid to let that list get long as this will help your team decide if the system being shown has all of the functions your company needs for successful implementation.

Allow plenty of time: Be sure to allow enough time in your demo schedule to analyze each function and also for any questions you or your team may have once the demo is complete. This is not an inexpensive project; as such, a great deal of time should be put into the demo to help you make an educated choice and get the greatest ROI.

Meet with your evaluation team after the demo:

After the demo is complete, be sure to meet with your team to discuss the pros and cons of the system.  This meeting should be held the same day as the demo so everything is still fresh in the minds of each team member that attended.

During the meeting, try to come up with a general agreement on the system among your team, did it seem to meet your needs and requirements? Should it remain on the list of potential solutions? Should it be eliminated?

Theese are just three of the many ways you can get the most out of your demo and ensure proper manufacturing ERP software selection. Just don’t rush through it! Avoid such a mistake (and others) by learning more in, “6 Mistakes You’ll Make When Selecting your ERP System” or using our evaluation template below.

ERP evaluation

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