An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is a series of software applications or modules that collects data from your sales, purchasing, finance, inventory, supply chain, manufacturing, and quality functions into a common database. By unifying your enterprise, your company can easily share information, coordinate activities, collaborate and make timely/ accurate decisions.
If you’re looking for your first ERP system or looking to upgrade from an existing system, the evaluation, selection, and implementation process is a long-term strategic decision for your organization.
Step 1: Evaluation - Get the leaders of the various departments and the head of company together for initial discussions about the desired ERP. Make sure everyone has transparency into how you are evaluating providers. Step 2: Make An Assessment - Assess your business and operations critically to determine what’s working well, what challenges you’re experiencing, and what you think you need in order to scale up or make improvements. Step 3: Establish Criteria - Develop a standard criteria to use when evaluating vendors. Criteria can include features, price, platform, and anything else your team thinks is important when making evaluations. Step 4: Schedule Consultations - Schedule phone calls, in-person meetings, or online demos with sales representatives and product experts at the vendors you’re considering. Get a first impression about each company and try to make note of the differences between the vendors you talk to. Step 5: Shortlist the Candidates - Narrow your list down to 2-3 candidates that you’
Step 6: Make Contact - Contact the vendors of your shortlisted ERP systems to arrange presentations and product demonstrations.
Step 7: Prepare Questions That Address Your Concerns - Prepare specific questions that you’d like each vendor to address during the follow-up call. Step 8: Check Vendor References - Talk to other companies that have implemented ERP systems from the vendors you’re considering. Find out what they like, what they don’t like, what they weren’t expecting, if they’d actually recommend the vendor you’re asking about, etc. Get as much information from them as you can in order to make a final decision. Once you’ve selected the ERP vendor for your business and needs, spend the time to scope the entire project, from start to finish. Work with your ERP vendor to map your critical milestones and chart your course to success.
Your evaluation committee should now be able to select an ERP solution based on how well it met your selection criteria, how it performed during the demonstration, and how the references checked out. Finally, with your selected ERP vendor, spend the time to map out the entire project from start to finish. Work with your ERP vendor to map your critical milestones and chart your course to success.
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