ERP System Evaluation - which system is best for your business?

The key to selecting the right ERP solution is identifying your business needs for the future and finding the system that best meets them. In order to evaluate potential ERP solutions, it is important to understand the organisation’s strategic goals so that the system selected complements the business strategy. 

It is generally advisable to establish a cross-departmental team to work through the ERP evaluation process; this helps ensure enterprise-wide participation in the selection process and promotes user ‘buy in’.

Which ERP System is best for your Business?

The areas in which benefits are expected should be one of the key elements in evaluating the potential system. For example if you expect to gain significant benefits from better planning, this is an area that should be addressed in some detail in the requirements documents, demonstrations, etc.

Other key aspects to focus on during your ERP system evaluation are:

  1. Functionality that is a differentiator in your industry or sector
  2. Areas that will give you competitive advantage
  3. Areas that your current system struggles to manage
  4. Industry-specific compliance requirements

These requirements should be documented in detail and the focus should be on examining the vendor responses to these areas.

Each vendor will have their own sales presentation and will emphasise different areas of functionality to try and differentiate themselves. Hence in many instances the organisation may not see the parts of the system that are most important to them and end up trying to make a selection by comparing ‘apples’ and ‘oranges’. Defining a formal script for the vendors, clearly establishes what is vital to see and how you want to see it, allowing you to compare ‘apples’ with ‘apples’ and making it easier to judge which solution suits your business best.

It is important to fully understand all the costs that are realistically associated with each solution not just the software licences and consultancy costs. There can be different costs associated with each solution such as customisations, internal resource requirements, training, etc. These costs can vary significantly between one solution and another.

Which ERP Implementation Vendor is best for your Business?

Most organisations spend time evaluating ERP software in a fair amount of detail. However, they often forget about the ERP Implementation vendor. Evaluation of the software vendor is as crucial as the evaluation of the functionality.

The fact is that a really good vendor implementation team can make a huge difference to the quality of an implementation. Conversely, a poor team can cause a perfectly good product to be implemented badly.

Key aspects to evaluating the ERP vendor are:

  1. Their organisation and capabilities
  2. The team they propose
  3. Industry experience and knowledge of Good Practice in that industry
  4. Post go-live support that the vendor will be able to provide.

All these are potentially equally important.

This blog was written by Bernie Callaghan, Principal Consultant. If you would like further information on ERP System Evaluation please or any other aspects of ERP please send an e-mail to Bernie Callaghan.