I met with a client the other day. He said, “You’re different from the other ERP salespeople we’ve talked to: you actually know something about the software!”
And that’s the key in a sentence to selecting the right ERP. You must get the technical ERP employees (consultants, implementers, developers, trainers, etc.) involved BEFORE you buy the software.
How do you do that? First, take a look at the suggestions we’ve made over the last year about needs analysis. Start with a good needs analysis. From your needs analysis, divide your needs into three categories: (a) Features every software product should have (you have to know something about ERP or accounting software to do this), (b) Features some, but not all, products generally have (again, you need to know the market), and (c) Features that may be difficult to find or are unique to you. The third option can also include sets of features that need to be in the solution that are unusual to find in the same product. I’m thinking about something like Point-of-sale, warranty management, service, and property management all in one product.
Now here’s the key: focus only on (c) items during the RFP and demo process. You can address (a) and (b) items later in the process when you have narrowed the field.
One last thing: the salespeople probably won’t like this approach. It means you’ll control the demo and the selection process. But it’s the way I’ve helped clients select ERP for 30 years.
More on this in later posts.