Steps to ERP Implementation :: Part II

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Part I of this post dealt with identifying business challenges by engaging the employees using various methodologies. In this post, let us discuss about the identifying the right vendor who can provide the best solution to suit the business requirements.

Step II : Evaluating ERP vendors and their solutions

Before evaluating the vendors it is better to understand the market standards, packages available and an approximate total cost of ownership (TCO). This helps in filtering the right vendors before evaluating them. Here are few factors any business should consider while evaluating ERP vendors.

[1] Review & ratings – representatives from the core implementation team can ask for review or feedback and ratings from other companies that operate in the same sector and have similar business processes. Better ratings indicate better solutions and services from the vendor.

[2] Vendor credibility – Number of successful implementations and satisfied customers are markers for a credible vendor. Market share could also be used as an indicator to assess the credibility.

[3] Years of experience – Vendors operating for more than two to three decades are expected to have better industry experience and expertise. An experienced vendor will always be in a better position to advice the customer to get maximum benefit of the ERP implementation.

[4] Edge over competition- In this decade, there exists a stiff competition among ERP vendors as they are able to provide solutions almost to every possible industry. At this juncture, it is essential to evaluate the competitive edge of each one of them to get quality solutions at an affordable price.

[5] Software features & flexibility – the features offered by the ERP software from a vendor should be in-line with the requirements of the business. More the flexibility of the software, better the customization could be. All additional features can be removed and the optimal features can be chosen for implementation.

Additional evaluation might be deemed essential, depending on the industry sector the business operates in.