How to Choose the Best ERP Enterprise Resource Planning Solution, It’s Not Just Features

When looking for the best fit ERP, Enterprise Resource Planning, solution for your organization it’s easy to get caught up in the bells and whistles and features of the software as the main selection criteria. But it’s important to know that features are only a third of the package, the other 2 factors to consider that are of equal weight, if not more, are the system’s technology and vendor.When looking for the best fit ERP, Enterprise Resource Planning, solution for your organization it’s easy to get caught up in the bells and whistles and features of the software as the main selection criteria. But it’s important to know that features are only a third of the package, the other 2 factors to consider that are of equal weight, if not more, are the system’s technology and vendor.

The system’s technology which includes the platform used is critical , whether it’s hosted, .Net or MySQL, the platform of the system should be weighed in tandem to whatever robust functionality you are looking for. Also consider that as technology innovations advance and performance bars are raised, so should your ERP systems. If your enterprise vendor is not on the cutting edge of technology innovations, you may not have a competitive solution or company for that matter in the long run. Look for the flexibility of your vendors and how they are adapting to and integrating with new technology advances that enter the marketplace.

Regarding vendors, make sure you know how many potential vendors you will have to work with when integrating your ERP solution. You may be surprised to find out that the features and technology comprising your enterprise solution is acquired from the integration of multiple vendors. You don’t have to be an IT veteran to know that dealing with multiple vendors and technologies leads to longer implementation, deployment and complications that will ultimately negatively impact your costs and ROI.

Ask the vendor for the implementation scope and timeline and the detail of how this estimate was determined. The majority of the cost of ERP purchases is in the system implementation, and deployment, not the cost of the software itself. Thoroughly interrogate the vendor on this point, and don’t take anything for granted. Talk to past customers and multiple sources to triangulate what the implementation roadmap your are about to undertake and if the vendor delivered on his expectations. Remember that customers on the vendors referral list are most likely happy customers.

A better way to get a candid response is from other ERP practitioners you meet at conventions, cocktail mixers or through industry networking groups such as ERP.com, http://www.erp.com. Another good way to get a good referral for an ERP solution is through ERP consultants that are not tied down to one or two vendors, but one that has a familiarity with at least half a dozen solutions from experience with multiple implementations to help you ferret out the right solution for you.

Chance Berry (Orange County, CA)

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