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ERP Selection in Ten Steps

Without proper preparation and sufficient knowledge, a lot can go wrong when selecting ERP software. If you carry out your selection in the ten steps below, you increase the chance of a successful selection process.

ERP software Selection step-by-step plan

1. First search the internet or with colleagues for ERP packages that are already set up in your industry. This saves at least 50% in mutual understanding and lead time of the project and removes all beginner errors from the project. This also gives the project a jump-start: much of what needs to be there is already there. This increases the motivation among your core users.

2. Then select three different types of ERP packages from suppliers that work with a partner structure. This lowers your vendor lock in, because you don't have to change ERP packages if you want to change suppliers. You can convince each supplier of the usefulness of his or her package in a demo.

3. You then appoint a project manager internally who has a feel for processes and automation and who can and dares to make decisions. He or she is flanked by one or two key users who think along from the process. You also keep a finger on the pulse.

4. You then first get to work yourself. The project leader and core user map your own processes within two weeks and you present these to the three suppliers. Based on this process description, the suppliers may issue an indication of a budget, including a translation of the processes into their solution. So no old-fashioned questionnaire (RFQ) where everyone answers “YES” to everything, but rather a focused document with process descriptions. The supplier can then use his skill and experience.

5. Based on the price indication, the translation on your process description and the feeling of the first demonstration, you make a choice of principle for one of the suppliers.

6. You'll make a plan of action with that supplier, in collaboration with the internal project leader. This plan must be independent of the ERP implementation itself and must also be seen as a paid advice process. Paid, because otherwise this has to happen and you can expect that the best consultants and project leaders will be put on it. The people who make this plan must also ultimately do the implementation.

7. Make an analysis of the gaps found between the system and your process: do you earn more or less money from your process or can you do it in the way the system does it by default? For all questions where you can ask that you no longer make money with it, you choose not to have it adjusted, but to organize it or follow the standard of the ERP package.

8. Try to arrange a reference visit once your own gaps have been mapped. This way you can present any challenges to a colleague. Maybe this has already been solved or there are other ways to reach your goal. Also let your chosen ERP supplier talk to your accountant. He can certainly contribute to the solutions and moreover it's more important to involve them in the project. That saves a lot of time and money at the end of the first year-end closing.

9. After all activities, gaps and solutions have been mapped and the process is complete, you organize a separate kick-off for all involved. A new demo must be given by the supplier. This kick-off includes project leader, programmers and the seller of the ERP supplier. This so that everyone is aware of what is going to happen and how this should be done and no empty promises have been made.

10. Stick to this plan consistently and make sure that there is steering committee consultation every so often, at least including the project leaders and the seller of the ERP supplier.

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