In this age of the Internet, identifying vendors should be easy. A Google search on the term “ERP Vendors” identifies 1,490,000 hits. Hmm… maybe not so easy.
The problem is that there are way too many lists, and way too many choices. Also, many of the lists are generic and out of date.
As a buyer, you want to find the 5 or 6 vendors that are best for your company. Unfortunately, finding this information is harder than a simple Google search.
Getting a gross list is relatively easy. Ultra’s vendor website www.mysolutionsgallery.com lists 43 ERP vendors for the manufacturing industry. We also try to qualify those vendors by sub industry, such as automotive, or consumer goods manufacturing.
Here are some additional ideas to qualify vendors for your industry:
- Industry periodicals will annually have a section on information systems for your industry
- Industry associations often publish white papers that identify vendors
- Peer companies are also a good source to see what product they use and what vendors they considered.
As you consider vendors, try to identify their “sweet spot”, that is in what industries are they having the most success. Ask the vendor to tell you what percent of their customers are in your industry. In what vertical industries do they focus their sales efforts. If they have a high percentage in your vertical industry, it means they have software that meets your industry needs.
Another area to explore is the typical size of their customers. Do they sell mostly to large companies (Tier I – $500 M and up), medium size companies (Tier II – $50 M to $500 M), or small companies (Tier III – under $50 M). How does their customer set relate to your company?
At Ultra, one of our markets is manufacturing. The vendors in this sector SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, Infor, Epicor, IFS, QAD, and Sage seem to be getting the most attention. It is important to match your company and size to the success each vendor is having in your vertical industry.