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JOVACO Solutions

5 Uncommon Sense ERP Acquisition Strategies

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As an ERP sales consultant I am continually amazed to see buyers make the same mistakes that can cost their companies time and money.   Make no mistake, buying an ERP system is hard work but if you follow these simple steps, all that work won’t be in vain.

1.  Don’t hire a consultant to avoid the work you need to do.  Consultants can be a valuable asset but people frequently rely on them to avoid the incredibly time consuming task of reviewing needs and attending demos.  Consultants may be ERP experts but ultimately, you are your company’s expert.

2.  Stick with brand name ERP software companies.  Some players in the ERP space make a business out of buying up software packages to collect maintenance fees but re-invest little in new features or even basic maintenance.   Others may have too small a user base to generate enough revenue to provide the level of service and upgrades you need to comply with evolving business models.  Do your due diligence and look at the company’s viability.

3.  Use the sales person to your advantage.  Don’t be coy; disclose your budget, all the issues you wish to address, and the solutions you are considering.  A good sales person will provide realistic budgets, set expectations, and be a valuable source of information on the competition's shortcomings.

4.  Get real references.  Ask the vendors for references from clients who switched from competitors.  These customers are a great source of honest information on competing vendors but be wary of customers who switched vendors multiple times and make sure you evaluate the context.

Vendor supplied references are predictably excellent, call all the references you have and look for others from the vendor’s client list, you might be surprised by what an unprepared person might divulge in a private call. 

5.  Don’t discount the ROI argument.  Don’t dismiss the argument that a new ERP system will translate into direct savings that will offset the cost of the system, take the time to do the math.  If you can liberate resources from grinding manual tasks that are time consuming and susceptible to error, your employees and customers will benefit.

Buying an ERP system is a big responsibility and a lot of hard work but when you do it right, the payoff can be huge.

By JOVACO Solutions, a Microsoft Dynamics GP partner based in Quebec.

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