A successful ERP implementation isn't something that happens by accident. As cliche as it sounds, preparation is key.
It all starts with the ERP you intend to use, a.k.a. The ERP Selection Process. You'll need to have a strong idea of how your preferred ERP is going to benefit you in the long run.
Which is why developing a concrete ERP selection strategy from the start will benefit you in the long run.
Your ERP selection process may be influenced by a number of factors. Some aspects could bring your selection towards the path of success.
Meanwhile, other factors could entirely bring your selection process down south.
Here are several things to consider to make your ERP selection process as simple as possible.
What You Should Do
1. List Out Your Business Requirements
Never venture on an ERP selection process without understanding your business requirements.
Sure, listing them down takes time and plenty of confirmation from relevant stakeholders. But all that effort beats the consequences of selecting the wrong ERP system.
With a clear list of your business requirements, you can determine whether a particular software vendor can meet your needs from the start.
And because you already have a list, you can ask your vendor to hold demonstration agendas to directly demonstrate how their system can accommodate your needs
This is an excellent opportunity for the software vendor to show the ERP software’s capabilities based on your requirements. At the same time, you and your SMEs have a better understanding of its features and can conduct more accurate evaluations.
A business requirements list is more than just a list - it’s an opening to more possibilities.
2. Find the Right People
It is critical to establish a good working relationship with your software vendor.
They may refer you to a third party, such as their professional services team or implementation partner.
However, you must ultimately be comfortable with the vendor with whom you are directly working. After all, they will be by your side through your successes and failures.
By being upfront with your software vendor, you’re cultivating a team-like relationship. This makes dealing with more sensitive aspects of the selection process, such as negotiations, easier.
Searching for the right people doesn’t just stop at your software vendor. As a project leader, you’ll need to have the right SMEs on board.
They are here to provide you additional insight into your selection process - whether they are part of your core project team or an extended team.
When providing second opinions on requirements, testing systems, and providing support, the SMEs you choose should have the appropriate credentials.
3. Request External Support
It would be ideal if your employees could concentrate on ERP selection without being distracted by their day jobs.
Unfortunately, reality doesn’t work that way.
Because your project team still has day-to-day responsibilities, you may want to consider temporary resources to supplement your core team.
You can do this by doing the following options:
- Having another employee backfill several responsibilities of the project member’s role - not only will this give your team member more time to focus on the project, but it gives the substitute employee more exposure into their line of work
- Using a temporary or contract worker to cover some of your project members' responsibilities
- Adding a contingent worker who has prior experience with the ERP system you're considering may be beneficial.
4. Include Contingency Fund
It shouldn't be surprising that you will face financial surprises. Even after you have created a detailed budget and settled your expenses with your vendor.
Some of the things that are completely out of our control would include sudden organizational restructuring or additional software implementation.
Starting with a contingency fund should help you anticipate these unwanted and unexpected cash outflows.
5. Get a Consultant
Not asking for help is the very last thing you would want to do during your ERP selection process.
You will be in charge of making critical decisions or handling duties that are simply outside of your purview.
We understand that people expect you to know everything as the project leader. But you know deep down that those expectations are completely unrealistic.
Rather than putting additional strain on yourself, seek assistance from your network of trusted colleagues. They may have additional ideas that can help you put your project into perspective.
If you are not comfortable confiding in your employees, hire a consultant.
A consultant could assist you throughout the ERP selection process. They will be able to give you more information about a specific software, how to customize it to meet your needs, and how to maximize its features.
You'll have a great outsider's view of your required ERP software with a consultant's extensive knowledge of ERP products, the market, and recommendation experience.
Just make sure you continue to manage internal affairs, especially now that you have a better understanding of your workforce culture, team members, management, and legal requirements.
While your consultant's advice is valuable for understanding your process, you should always have the final say in the retain sign-off on ERP software selection.
If you’re looking for a consultant, Software-Advisory can help you narrow down your software options and connect you with the right vendors.
Book a meeting with us today.
Check out our previous blog: Pros and Cons of Robotic Process Automation (RPA)