This 3-Step ERP Evaluation Plan is only common sense. But best of all, it will take far less time to complete and your results will be absolute!
Step 1 – Define the critical requirements that are unique to your company and match to the vendors on your short list. Please note: Critical requirements only. You have to assume that all systems will have an “Aged Trial Balance”. This list should not be longer than two pages. Only continue to step 2 with those that sufficiently match.
Step 2 – Visit a company using the system, preferably one you can drive to, in a similar industry and size as your own. You may not get all criteria matched, but ask. With these demands, it is more difficult for the vendor to select who you visit.
I once heard of a manufacturer who was “paid” to be a positive reference for a software firm, yet they did not even use the software.
A visit is so much better than a phone call that in fact, it can take the place of the “sales demo” entirely.
Step 3 – After the first 2 steps, you should have a favorite system. If you are still not comfortable enough to take the plunge, this final step eliminates any further risk. Ask this vendor to bring in the trainer you will work with after the sale is complete, not the professional presenter. Trainers have to live with their promises after the sale, and will be quite forward about what the system can, or cannot do.
Have the trainer set up the software around your requirements and enter a sub-set of your data. The intention will be to present the system as if it were live at your facility. Offer to pay for this service. Trainers are not offered to prospective clients because existing customers are paying them to implement their projects. This “proof of concept pilot” may cost a few thousand dollars, but will be far less expensive than the time-consuming step-by-step method.
The most important factor in selecting a system is to make sure your company is successful with the new system. This 3-step process will guarantee results. Why would you use any other method?