When finding the right ERP solution for your business, there’s a lot to consider. It's a weighty decision that will affect your business deeply for years. So, it’s important that you take your time and collect as much information as possible up front. The best way to do this is by knowing the key questions to ask potential ERP vendors.
Are you scratching your head wondering, “What are the right questions to ask your ERP vendor?” Keep reading and I’ll tell you.
There are the usual questions like, does the system offer the features I need? What will it cost? How long will it take to implement? How much training will my team need? Do we need to buy any additional hardware or software? Is it available on mobile devices?
While these are all great questions to ask your ERP vendor, they are just scratching the surface of what an informed ERP buyer needs to know. To truly understand what solution will be best for your business, you need to dig a little deeper.
Here is a list of less obvious, but very important questions to ask your ERP vendor and yourself:
- If you are in a highly regulated industry, does the vendor understand all the regulations that impact your business? How is the ERP system equipped to handle these regulations and is it ready to adjust to future changes in them?
- Has the vendor taken the time to understand my business, its unique needs and challenges as it relates to the ERP implementation?
- What is my ROI goal for this project? Have I made the vendor aware of this goal? Do they have a track record for successfully meeting clients ROI objectives?
- Can the ERP solution easily integrate with not only my other existing systems but also those of my business partners?
- What innovations are on the horizon for this ERP vendor? Once they are released. How will they affect my business? Will they be a welcome change, or create challenges I need to know of?
- What levels of support are available? Do any of the options fit my needs? Which one? Are there any additional fees for support services I will need to include in my budget?
- Where is the vendor going to be focusing its time and monetary investments over the next 3 to 5 years? Why have they chosen these areas?
- What internal resources to have available for this project? Do I need to hire a third-party to help handle the implementation?
- What stage of the product lifecycle is the system in, growth, maturity or decline?
- Has the vendor displayed a long-term commitment to this product, it’s support and innovation?
Using this list of questions to ask your ERP vendor as a guide, you will be well on your way to engaging in the in-depth conversations that will give you a real insight into whether they are the right fit for your business.
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By: Laura Schomaker, Intelligent Technologies, Inc., a South Carolina Microsoft partner