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Columbus Global

Six Ways to Prepare for a Call With an ERP/Accounting Software Provider


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There are a lot of steps in the process when you’re searching for ERP software to help streamline your business. What should you do before making that first
call to a salesperson? Some things are fairly obvious and some are not. Here are six ways to prepare so you can get the most information out of one phone
call.

  1. Do Your Research. Do an internet search for reviews on the software you are considering.    I’m sure you already do that for those flat screen TVs, laptops, cars, etc. There is a tremendous amount of information out there on the products available to businesses.  It is a disservice to yourself to not take advantage of it.
  2. Visit the Company’s Web Site.  Read the white papers and visit the links on the site. If an organization is noted in a white paper or if the company lists their clients on their website, make a call. I can’t guarantee the clients will be receptive to talk to you about the company, but it’s worth a shot. Of course, always be respectful of people’s time.
  3. Ask Your Suppliers What Software Applications They Use.  That type of feedback is invaluable. You already have a relationship with them - ask what system they use for financials, distribution, etc.
  4. Limit the Number of ERP Systems Considered.
    I’ve run into organizations that will evaluate up to 10 different packages!  That’s a hard process to manage and to keep track of the nuanced differences between each one.  I recommend you limit your search to no more than 4.
  5. Don’t Just Focus On Features And Functionality.
    Let’s face it; if you are looking for an ERP package all of the competing products handle GL, receivables, and payables in an efficient manner.
    The same can be said for order processing and other customer-related activities. I’m not suggesting that you ignore functionality, but also focus on
    the software company.  How stable are they? Will they be around for the long term? How much do they invest in R&D? How often are there new releases?
  6.  Create A Needs Document.  I find that a number of organizations either do not have a written document of requirements or it was slapped together
    without any input from key people.  I’m not saying that you should create a formal RFP, but having a requirements check list will help you keep on track with your discussions with the salesperson. Sharing that document with the salesperson is also very valuable since it helps with understanding your needs and opens the door to greater discovery.

The vendor understands that selecting a new software package is a bet-your-business decision. The vendor’s goal is to implement a system that exceeds your requirements and expected business outcomes. Therefore, these goals must be crystal clear in the minds of both the customer and the vendor.

Please read my full article on how to find the right ERP solution for you.  If you are located in Arizona or the surrounding area, contact Sherwood Systems at (877) 943-9696 for assistance in determining how Microsoft Dynamics GP can help your organization.

By Sherwood Systems – Arizona Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner

2 Responses to “Six Ways to Prepare for a Call With an ERP/Accounting Software Provider”

  1. Paul says:

    Good point on #3 – asking your suppliers. And to that I would add understanding how your existing IT infrastructure would handle a potential new system.

  2. Good points on how to get the most from your ERP vendor. We have a Guide to Selecting Business Software available with more tips. Also, a list of the Top Ten ERP Systems is available.