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Logan Consulting

How to Select, Negotiate, and Implement the “Best” ERP Software


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Many factors can contribute to the decision to select a new ERP software like Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains).  The goal of the project is always to select the best ERP software for your organization.

Some of the factors that lead companies to look for a new ERP system include:

  • Existing system no longer supported
  • Existing systems don’t support business processes
  • Merger, acquisition or divestiture
  • Desire to run business better
  • Opportunity to capture higher profits from inventory optimization and/or better service levels
  • Key customer(s) requirements (EDI, other integration)

Whether the ERP selection is technology or business driven, most can agree that identifying and capturing business value is part of the success criteria. Once the success criteria are identified, the cost/benefit objectives are defined and the negotiation is done, it’s time for execution.  The ERP implementation phase is where organizations either win or lose when deploying ERP software.  In this article, we will discuss how selection, negotiation and implementation can impact your organization’s bottom line and we'll provide information on how to select the best ERP system.

Selection:

A proper up front requirements assessment in the selection phase can make or break an ERP deployment.  Too many times, companies short change this phase.  This results in missed key requirements.  These “misses” can result in pain such as:

  • Selection of the wrong ERP software
  • Costly customizations (one-time and ongoing costs)
  • Delayed and/or more costly implementation
  • Inability to satisfy key customers
  • Inability to capture key cost savings

At Logan Consulting we have found that when we present Microsoft Dynamics GP,  the process is easier for us when requirements have been properly defined.

Negotiation:

Negotiation goes in parallel with the latter half of the Selection phase.   While negotiating a fair deal is important, if your company has done the cost-benefit analysis, one would hope that any negotiated savings is relatively minor relative to the identified financial opportunities.  The point is to not short change the investment side or select primarily on price when the long term financial and business benefits far outweigh the project investment.

Implementation:

Our twenty plus years of experience tells us that ERP projects that are business owned and driven are much more likely to be successful than those driven by IT.  The best ERP software project can go awry if technology and not business becomes the focus.

When a company is implementing ERP software “top down” starting with the business processes, the use of the ERP tool is greatly simplified.  The company’s business requirements are met and the use of the ERP software is simplified.  When  technology is the leader, business processes are often skewed to the point where the software is dictating how the business runs and the project benefits are not captured.

There is a lot that can go wrong with an ERP project even if the best ERP software is chosen, but having a solid selection process and clearly defined requirements can greatly mitigate the risks and ensure your company benefits from the project.

If you would like to review your own needs you can request our help in finding the best ERP software for your organization.

by Logan Consulting a Chicago based Microsoft Dynamics GP and AX Partner and Reseller

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