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10 Tips for Successfully Selecting an ERP System- Tip #10

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Whatever process you have taken, you have finally arrived at the point where your company is going to start the journey of selecting and implementing a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) application. You have strong executive leadership and buy-in, now what? There’s a common phrase that states, “you only get out what you put into it”. Simply put, how well or poorly you plan a project or initiative will largely pre-determine the outcome. Now, you are venturing into the ERP application space. To select the best, most appropriate application and vendor, there are key points that are common, if not universal, to companies that have been successful with their ERP projects.

In this ongoing series, we’ll share best practices garnered from decades of working with customers whose ERP implementation success was pre-determined by their planning and execution thereof.

  1. Ensure the Project is Properly Staffed and Budgeted

  2. Establish an Executive Sponsored Project Team

  3. Make a Requirements List but Focus on the High-Level Differentiators

  4. Plan for What You Need Today and Tomorrow. Or as Wayne Gretzky said: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”

  5. Be Open with Your Vendors

  6. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

  7. Limit Your Short List and Schedule Demos Fairly Close Together

  8. Focus on Value vs. Bells and Whistles

  9. Focus on The Implementation Partner during your Selection Process

  10. Fully Utilize References to Aid in your Selection Process

Fully Utilize References to Aid in your Selection Process

Every prospective vendor/partner will promise to deliver on time and on budget, but can they live up to that promise? Our customers will confirm that our reputation on this assurance, is solid.

Every vendor will give you 3 customers who love them. Count on that. Contact those references and investigate – interview them by asking questions that back up a vendor’s claims. Demonstrate genuine interest in the customer reference. For example, we suggest that you visit them – observe what they’re doing and how they are doing it. Ask the reference what it looks like when unforeseen issues arise. How are these issues addressed internally? With the vendor? How are they resolved? What is the turn around for resolution with the vendor support system? Is there a vendor support system? The more prepared you are to ask questions and get specific examples during your visit, the clearer the picture of the vendor relationship and ERP technology will be.

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