Whether you’ve made the decision to implement your very first ERP system or replace the one you’re currently using, the most important thing you can do is gather information. Careful research and analysis is the number one way you can ensure a well informed and confident decision when it comes to selecting your system. The key is getting your ERP system evaluation information from the right sources.
Where to Find Reputable Information During ERP System Evaluation:
The internet: In our digital world it’s no surprise that most people head straight to search engines when they begin researching a new business system. Just be sure you remember that just because it’s on the internet does not make it true.
Software publisher websites are always a good place to start. Yes, they want you to buy the software so there will be some marketing content to dig through, but the information under it will be solid. From there we suggest branching out to ERP reseller sites. A reseller partners with large publishers to offer a sales, implementation, customization, support, ERP consulting, and training to companies like yours and are the preferred way to go for many businesses who implement an ERP system. Other areas and things to look for on ther internet include:
- Customer case studies
- Recorded video demonstrations of the software
- Customer testimonials
- Intendent software analyst reports
- Industry association chats or websites
Vendor Phone Calls & Demos: Once you have done enough research and come up 2-3 companies and systems you’d like to learn more about, it’s time to really dig in and get the real facts and figures directly from the ERP vendor. Come up with a list of questions before picking up the phone and be sure to take notes throughout the call so you can compare answers from the various vendors. If after these conversations you’re ready to see the software in action, the next step is to set up a system demonstration. Don’t let the demonstration be a waste of your time, read these two blogs to make sure you get everything you need out of them to make the right decision when the time comes.
References: After you’ve completed your demonstrations, there is one final place to get information before you make your decision- current users. Once you’re serious about working with a certain company/system, contact your potential vendor and ask for contact information for customers who are in your industry and currently using the software. This is where you will get your very best information. Just keep in mind that software vendors do not give out these references until they know you’re seriously considering doing business with them to protect their relationship with current customers. Best practices for checking references
Do all of the above and your ERP selection team will have more than enough informaiton to make a confident system selection, but the work doesn’t stop there. Learn more of what you should (and shouldn’t) do as you work through the selection and implemenation process in the white paper below.