Selecting an ERP solution

This is a cross-post from the SYSPRO SmarterERP blog

Whether you call them RFIs, RFPs, RFQs* or some other acronym, and whether you are a vendor or a customer, those three letters conjure up the same impression in many minds – pages and pages of detailed questions about a software product’s functionality, which takes weeks to create, days to respond, and weeks again to review. Continue reading

Selecting an ERP system

Steve Philips has written a useful blog on how to go about selecting an ERP system – including the comment:

Regardless of how many consultants a client uses to select software, many would have been far better off selecting out of a hat.

The consulting houses and analysts who make money out of ‘helping’ companies to select an ERP might object to that, but as experienced practitioners know, most project failures are rarely due to the software but more to do with organisational and management issues.

Here is a summary of Steve’s recommendations:

  • A properly developed RFI can help expedite the evaluation process
  • Is the software is installed in organizations within your industry segment?
  • Is the software is used by at least some organizations with more users?
  • Make sure  the software is not on the “bleeding edge” of technology.
  • Make sure that the software is fully support by the supplier.
  • Is the vendor’s direction and focus for future functionality consistent with your organization?
  • Consulting services and formal training is readily available (through the vendor and third-parties).
  • The vendor is financially viable and has a solid track record.
  • The software must meet the key mandatory business requirements.

I would also include the following:

  • Does the vendor or reseller show an understanding of your business and its key issues?
  • What quality and quantity of skilled resources are available from the vendor or reseller for your project?

Without making this list incredibly long, what other points should be added?

Update: Eric Kimberling of Panorama has provided some other points here.