How To Select An ERP Vendor?
Selecting the best ERP vendor for your ERP project can be made easier if you ask the right questions and keep top of mind the most important characteristics to you. The best choice will be more evident the more you engage with the vendors during the pre-sales process.
This is probably obviou,s but one important characteristic is definitely chemistry. An ERP project typically lasts 3-6 months for a small to medium project and typically 6-9 months for a medium sized project (i.e. 200K – 800K in cost). So of course the more comfortable your team is engaging with the selected vendor’s team the smoother the communications will be.
For example, are they easy to talk to? Do they seem to genuinely care about your company's success and your project's success? Have you met all of the members of their proposed project team? What would it be like to be around them when you’re completely stressed out right before the project go-live?
Aside from chemistry, let’s remind ourselves of the most common objectives when undertaking a new ERP project, (1) minimizing risk & (2) maximizing project success.
(1) Minimizing project risk. Here are some considerations for minimizing project risk.
A. ERP Experience – how many of the proposed ERP systems have they successfully implemented?
B. Industry Background – how many ERP clients do they have in your industry?
C. Project Methodologies – project methodologies used? Do you feel they’re good to reduce risk?
D. Their understanding of your requirements – how well have they shown that they understand your requirements? How well does their proposed solution meet your requirements?
(2) Maximizing project success. Here are some considerations for maximizing project success.
A. How will their processes maximize the chances of achieving your project success factors?
B. Do they have a methodology for handling expectation (change) management? So that during stressful portions of the implementation project they can help keep your team positive and motivated to do their part to make the project implementation successful.
C. How do they control project costs and minimize project budget overruns?
D. Does their proposal include gathering input from your executive team to capture management objectives? Does their solution meet your management objectives for the ERP project?
E. Does their proposal include gathering input from your team to capture organizational objectives for the project? Does their solution meet your organizational objectives for the ERP project?