You’ve recognized the need to implement a new ERP system within your organization and soon you’ll need to identify one vendor out of an ever-growing pool of options.  In a past post, we identified 5 questions to ask yourself during the ERP selection process, but sometimes asking the right question still isn’t enough to make a decision.  With so many options on the market, it’s easy to fall succumb to analysis paralysis, stalling your entire project before it ever really begins.

The ERP software industry is more competitive today than ever before.  The good news is that this means that buyers like you have more options than ever when it comes to selecting a system.  The bad news is that having so many choices can make the decision-making process seem daunting.  Products and technologies are evolving at an ever-growing pace, making the numerous options in front of you even more overwhelming.  Leading ERP vendors, their smaller competitors, and even startup software firms provide a wide range of viable options to organizations of all industries, geographies, and sizes.  Buy by taking a systematic approach you can avoid the analysis paralysis and find the best fit for your company’s unique needs.

From deployment model to applications offered, each ERP system comes with pros and cons.  The biggest challenge of the software selection process is weighing those pros and cons against your organization’s technology requirements organized by priority.  For most companies, there are just a handful of viable solutions with a “out of the box” fit.  Your industry, size, complexity, and current and future state business process maps will help you to identify which solution is the best fit and how best to further tailor the solution with integrations, customization, and configurations.

ERP Vendor Considerations

  • The financial stability of the company representing the ERP solution’s longevity
  • The vendor’s investment in technology and reinvestment of revenues into development and continuous improvement of the product
  • The vendor’s growth which can indicate its relevance with recent buyers
  • The vendor’s commitment to industry-specific capabilities
  • The vendor’s commitment to expanding functionality through integrations with third-party products
  • The vendor’s availability of information and product support

ERP Product Considerations

  • Out of the box features and compatibility with functional requirements, reducing the potential complexity of managing customization and third-party add-ons
  • The User Interface and ease-of-use which can accelerate user adoption and reduce learning curves
  • Industry penetration and customer references indicating success in the markets it serves
  • Future product road maps that include the adoption of new technologies, deployment options, and releases that are focused on features and capabilities versus fixes and patches

While product selection is a vital piece of any implementation project, every company has limited time, money, and resources so don’t get too bogged down in system selection.  Every dollar and every hour spent on system evaluation and selection is time and money that could be spent on a successful implementation.  Functionality and technology are key considerations but rarely determine implementation success or failure.  In the long run, it’s better to have an imperfect software selection with a great implementation than a great selection with an imperfect implementation.

This post is an excerpt from our ERP buyer’s guide, available now for download.

If you have any questions about the ERP selection process, contact one of our consultants today to schedule a free needs analysis.

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