The manufacturing companies we talk to are pressured to balance ERP selection and business process improvement initiatives against challenging production schedules, customer demands and workloads.
A company about to embark on an ERP journey has many choices. Management may elect to walk that ERP journey alone, or they may see the value of teaming with a “guide” for the journey.
Many mid-market manufacturers and distributors gain value from teaming with independent experts for an effective ERP selection process.
When guided by the right consulting team, these companies reduce the effort, resources and cost of ERP selection.
ERP Selection Process Considerations
Based on Ultra’s experiences guiding hundreds of mid-market manufacturers through ERP selection and business process improvement, we typically see common considerations manufacturers face when deciding to either “go it alone” or team with a selection consultant.
These considerations fall in the following four areas:
- ERP Knowledge – Many companies do not have a working knowledge of today’s modern ERP systems. Some team members might have gone through an ERP selection at some point in their careers, but lack familiarity and knowledge of what is possible with today’s ERP. This level of knowledge is also quite shallow as it limits possibilities during the ERP comparison process. In these cases, an organization benefits from a consultant that offers recent ERP experience, preferably in the organization’s specific manufacturing sector (food/beverage, automotive, process, etc.)
- Impartial Advice – Many companies can’t easily access insight from independent technology experts. An outsider with no vested interest in the team’s decisions can be a great aid to the team in their deliberations.
- Knowledge of ERP Vendors – The ERP landscape can be confusing. The number of vendors in the industry is growing larger and the solutions more complex every year. It will take any company significant effort to identify and study the players to form an accurate plan. An ERP consultant that knows the vendors knows the specific solutions. This insight can be invaluable in keeping the team on course, reducing effort, and helping the team reach its goal in the shortest period.
- Business Process Improvement – Many manufacturing organizations lack a full understanding of Business Process Improvement (BPI) initiatives, and how BPI is a key component of ERP selection. ERP experts offer in-depth experience in this area, helping organizations identify gaps between the current state and desired future state of operations, along with identifying the specific systems that help close those gaps.
For more insight into an effective ERP selection process, download the a timely resource entitled “Five Guidelines for Choosing the Right ERP Consultant.”
The paper notes typical considerations manufacturers face when embarking upon an ERP selection project. Also included are five guidelines for choosing the right ERP consulting team for an efficient and effective ERP project.