ERP Software Assessment and Selection

ERP Software Assessment

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) has changed the way the multi-location companies work. All the departments in one location share a single database. And a remote sales manager can access this database and release purchase orders. One can extend this to the suppliers as well. The suppliers can see the stock of their product in your inventory and can replenish the stock immediately to the minimum stock level. All these are possible if you implement your ERP well. However, your ERP shall have the features that may be required tomorrow. Hence, it is important that you do a proper Erp Software Assessment. It is not easy to decide on a single ERP. Not all the ERPs may suit to your operations. If you have expertise internally to make Erp Software Assessment, you may go ahead with the inquiries.

ERP software is expensive. Implementation is more expensive. And you need to spend more money on Annual maintenance contracts for the Hardware as well as for the ERP software. Hence do not rush through your ERP Software Assessment to arrive at the feasibility of an ERP.

Once you have documented all your requirements, check with each ERP software vendor and let them propose their solutions to you. Ask them, as a part of ERP Software Assessment, all about the hardware requirements, Database, networking, storage requirements, any additional software to be procured. This gives you a clear picture of what are the additional costs, including infrastructure costs, are to be taken care of, if you select particular ERP software.

Check which ERP is implemented in similar industry like yours. If you are in Automobile Industry, check what is implemented in popular automobile manufacturing companies. Here you may get some idea of which ERP may be suitable to your organization as well. As a part of ERP Software Assessment, you can also ask the ERP vendor to give you list of similar industry installation references and if you can contact them.

You also need to check whether the ERP in discussion satisfies all your current needs as well as the unknown future needs. How do you know if the ERP software can deliver future requirements? Check their past, if they were able upgrade their systems in tune with the time. Every good ERP company defines their road-map. Check it yourself. This kind of ERP Software Assessment makes you comfortable.

If possible, check with the references provided by the ERP vendor. You may check with your friends in similar industry and check with them about how they went on with their. Ask the ERP vendor for a demo. Seeing is believing. ERP Software Assessment done by you is the best assessment.

ERP Software Selection

Companies with multiple locations can leverage technology to integrate their computer applications. Internet provides a great way to communicate and to reduce the communication costs and at the same, you can have 24X7 presence. You may create your own applications or go in for established Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. There are many ERP software available and you need be careful with ERP Software Selection. If you do not have expertise for ERP Software Selection, you may hire a consultant, who can study your requirement and suggest appropriate ERP software.

ERP Software Selection is very critical for your Enterprise. Correct ERP implementation will get you great benefits and a wrong selection can cause heavy losses. The best ERP software may not be the right ERP for you.

First step in ERP project is to study your existing processes and make a wish list of your future requirement. Constitute a team for ERP Software Selection. Members for this team shall be drawn from IT department as well as all the functional areas. It shall be headed by a perso nominated by the Management as ‘Champion’.

This ‘Champion’ shall have the powers to take decisions regarding the process changes as well as finances. He needs to take all the members in to confidence on ERP Software Selection.

When you are ready to invite the quotations from ERP software vendors, allocate enough time for yourself to evaluate the bids received for your ERP Software Selection. You may also try to hire an external consultant, who may be an authority on ERP software. There are many of them from whom you can select one depending on your budgets.

Invite ERP software vendors or their partners to offer their solutions. These bids may be obtained in two different sealed envelopes- one for Technical bid and another for Financial. As you open the bids for ERP Software Selection, ensure enough transparency to avoid any misunderstandings within the team as well as with vendors.

Once all the technical bids are opened, prepare a comparison sheet of all the bids received. Though you have mentioned certain details of requirement for the bidders, they may give lot of information on many other details. Prepare a comparison chart comparing features of all bids received which simplifies the ERP Software Selection. As you compare features, reject the applications, which do not meet your requirements.

Now that you have a few technically cleared ERP vendors in the fray, ERP Software Selection narrows down to a select few. The commercial bids of these technically shortlisted vendors may be opened and compare the prices again. The ERP team can site and discuss various options considering Technical and commercial bids. You need not award the ERP contract to the vendor who offered the lowest commercial bid. You may deliberate ERP Software Selection by comparing features and prices and decide on the appropriate ERP software for your Enterprise.

Credit: MIS Notes_MGU