Looking for a new ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution is a complex process. A good place to start is by making an RFP, a request for proposal. This is a document that lists your requirements, wants, and questions you’d like potential ERP vendors to respond to. You can send it out to a larger network of ERP providers and based on their answers, narrow it down to a shorter list. This saves a lot of time as opposed to seeing a demo from many different vendors.
Here are some keys to making a good RFP.
1: Focus on the needs, not the wants
The list could go on and on with the wants, but really, a system that fits your needs perfectly and the wants okay is better than a system that fits both needs and wants just okay. The key is going to be evaluating internally what is a need and what is a want.
2: The shorter the better
Details can be good, but too much detail can be detrimental. If the RFP is too long, it might deter ERP vendors from filling it out because they are busy with their jobs, whereas a reseller and ERP vendor that is not doing well has plenty of time to fill it out right way. The shorter the list also makes it easier to evaluate the answers and requires less time to do so.
3: Do as much of the RFP as you can without using a consultant
Unfortunately, a vast majority of consultants will sell for one or more ERPs. If they are involved in the RFP, you can bet that they will include strengths of their represented ERP products in your needs category, whether it truly is or not. Try to get input from anyone who would use the solution or has experience using other ERP solutions (if this will be the first one).