It’s been suggested that:
“you can’t get the right answer till you ask the right question.”
For manufacturers embarking upon an ERP selection project, this important piece of wisdom becomes critically important. What’s the best way to make an intelligent decision about which ERP solution to select?
Asking the right questions can certainly make ERP selection more effective.
While not an exhaustive list by any means, the three questions listed below are an effective way to get on your way to effective ERP selection.
1) Does the Vendor Know Our Business?
The place to start is to ask the ERP vendor whether they know your business, and what their overall presences is in your specific industry. How many customers does the vendor have in your sector? How many new customers have been implemented in the last year? In the last three years? If the vendor knows your business, they understand your unique needs and business processes. There are multiple of “styles” of manufacturing across multiple industries. Ask whether the vendor knows your manufacturing style, process, and industry and its completely unique set of requirements. Be sure you can effectively distinguish vendors with specific expertise in your area of manufacturing from a solution that you might have to force-fit to your business model.
2) What Resources are Required on Our Part?
Ask the vendor to outline in detail what resource investments are needed from your team. Ask them to select a recent implementation in your industry, and share how much time, involvement and other resource it took for a successful implementation. The key is to get a realistic and relevant preview of resource allocation requirements.
3) How do Customers in My Industry Measure Success After the ERP Implementation?
This is critical. Ask the ERP vendor how other companies in your industry justify the expense of the ERP solution. What are typical ROI measurements?
Look for evidence of ROI based on better access to information, better decision making ability, increased productivity, increased customer satisfaction, real-time communications, shorter time to market and other key performance indicators. Ask the vendor to identify quantifiable savings returned to a manufacturer after implementing their ERP system.
Obviously, the success of ERP selection is a hot topic with our team and our customers. Check out this previous blog post, ERP Success – Make it Happen!, which highlights four reasons why ERP projects succeed.