Selecting an ERP vendor out of a plethora of options can be quite the challenge, with many potential pitfalls along the way. Learn about some of the most common mistakes that business’s make while selecting an ERP software, and why you should avoid them if possible.
Incomplete or Unused RFP Document
One of the most effective ways to help better understand both your own business’s needs and the offerings of an ERP vendor is by building a Request for Proposal (RFP) document. This document gives you a chance to dig into the needs of your business, the purpose for implementing an ERP software package, and get to know a vendor on a much more detailed level than simple website information or a conference call. In addition, you’ll be able to compare RFP documents from each vendor to see which one is the best match for your business’s needs.
Lack of In-Depth Vendor Comparison
Know the discreet details of each ERP’s product and support services. Many companies simply overlook comparing various vendors because they believe they’ve found the one. Never settle on an ERP software without considering all of your options. Compare and contrast RFP documents, if utilized, or set up identical conference calls or demos with various software providers.
When you’re first looking into implementing an ERP software package for your business, it’s certainly useful to browse through a variety of providers; however, you’ll need to dig much deeper in order to find the software provider that meets your business’s needs. ERP vendors aren’t able to say in compete terms exactly what they provide on their website, so it’s important to be inquisitive into beyond simple facts and information about the provider. This can include building an ERP RFP document, setting up a free trial and free demo of the software, and scheduling conference calls with the vendor.
Focus on Total Cost
Understanding the total cost of an ERP software package is essential, but placing its value over other important factors can be deadly. Often, software from a certain vendor can cost slightly more than competitors for a reason, whether it’s higher-quality support, stronger features, etc. Consider other factors beyond cost when looking at an ERP implementation; choosing the wrong vendor due to lower costs can hurt you later on during the onboarding process or afterwards.
Focus on Added Features/Flashiness
Don’t let ERP providers distract you with flashy, over-the-top features. It’s often a ploy to get you distracted from the cost or other necessary features that may be missing. While extra “stuff” is great, it’s imperative to look at your business’s wants and needs. Establish the needs, then add the wants if possible.
Ask questions throughout the vendor selection process to avoid getting distracted by any additional, unnecessary features. Keep digging and learning more about the vendor to find out exactly what they offer for a price; many added features cost extra, so you’ll need to find that out as well.
Underestimation of Time/Energy/Resources
Selecting an ERP vendor should never be a quick process. Expect to give yourself a lot of time to browse over RFP documents, analyze various competitors, and interact personally with both the support team and the software. Never rush into an implementation of this size.
Does everyone on your team really have the motivation necessary to pull off an ERP implementation successfully? If not, then you might want to reconsider. Bringing on a major software package such as ERP requires complete buy-in and excitement for the project. Without the necessary energy, your onboarding is likely to be unsuccessful. When looking for an ERP vendor, be sure everyone is on the same page before making a final selection.
Have you allotted enough resources to be able to handle the ERP selection process? This can include preparing a selection committee and implementation team which will help keep the process as organized as possible. Establishing resources can also encompass cost, specifically the number of employees that will be focusing less on work production and more on the vendor selection.
The ERP selection process should be time-consuming but productive. If you’re falling into one of the traps above, it’s time to recuperate and get back on track. The future of your business depends on a quality ERP vendor, so take the process seriously, avoid common pitfalls, and you’ll find success.