So… now you think you are ready to find new ERP software… again! Let’s go over a few brief considerations:
1. Outline why you are looking for new software.
Be specific and don’t beat around the bush. List the features with reasons and classify them: must have, would like to have in the future, blue sky (those things that would be icing on the cake). Define the time frame and budget. Consider user input and validate if it’s worthy of consideration from supervisors and super users. Determine your Project Leader.
2. What platform does it run on?
Is that something you are familiar with? Do you have internal or external support staff or a blend? Is this a new platform for your business? What might this cost? What about OS updates, virus, hacking, and other issues with it?
3. Review References
Review the likely authors of software with 3 references similar to your organization, and narrow it down to 3 after meeting with them You may discuss preliminary pricing, support rates, update frequency, and implementation time frame at this juncture.
4. Build a Demo List of Critical Components
Create a bullet list of what scenarios you’d like to see when you schedule the demo. Have a set list of questions and record the answers to each one. Keep to the list. If something comes up later after the demo is done, get the answer in wiring from the vendor.
5. Attend and Assign a Grade to the Demo
Schedule demos, record answers to questions, have area supervisors and super users present during their part of the demo. Get pricing for all phases: loading, training, tailoring, licensing, source code, third party packages, support, upgrades, modification rates, and support availability. Get sample contracts and scour them for annual renewals, ask for an implementation time line in writing, and any other mandatory situations of payment.
5.5 “Would you buy this again?”
After doing due diligence asking the references if they would hire the same vendor again, among everything else. Make the decision, hold weekly progress meetings, ask questions about everything they do, review the invoices, hold their feet to the fire on the time line. Do your part to keep the project moving.