Ultra recently hosted the first webinar in a series we call “The New Rules of ERP” geared to mid-market industrial manufacturers.
Those in attendance saw what it takes to gain a good understanding of what is possible with today’s modern ERP system. We talked about ERP education, so the ERP project team can begin to visualize the new system.
Our first webinar also focused on the importance of setting a solid ERP project foundation to understand what is needed, any limitations with the current system, and the industry best practices for your industry.
The second part of our series describes additional phases of an effective ERP selection process, with an emphasis on vendor identification, evaluation and selection.
ERP Evaluation Criteria
The ERP landscape can be confusing. The number of vendors plus the number of resellers in the industry is growing larger and more complex every year.
In terms of setting evaluation criteria, the manufacturer should consider the following:
- Software functional fit to the future state business process needs
- Vendor’s presence and strength in the manufacturer’s industry
- Vendor’s technology direction
- Vendor’s support ecosystem
- Total cost of ownership
The manufacturing company should make sure each vendor on the list offers a product that has a good fit to business process needs, and will be a good partner for the next twenty years.
Finding Your ERP Fit
To make sure the ERP project team moves toward an ERP selection that delivers business process improvements, today’s software selection process must take into the consideration:
- Identification of vendors
- A vendor interview process
- Development of “evaluation drivers”
- Decision criteria table
- Process driven demonstration scripts
- A vendor product presentation and evaluation process
- Evaluation vendor implementation capabilities
- Vendor price and contract negotiations
A Vertical Focus
Today, ERP vendors are evolving their systems into vertical industry solutions. Identify your vertical industry and we can quickly find the ERP vendors that are a best fit.
All of the major ERP vendors are organizing and developing vertical industry solutions. In addition their partners now must be oriented to a vertical industry.
With a focus on a vertical industry it is much easier to identify ERP vendors, products, implementation partners, consultants and references. The vendors are much easier to evaluate by visiting with references in their vertical industry focus group.
For a definition about vertical industries, see this background on ERP vertical specialization. It pays to spend time understanding vertical industry requirements and the vendors that serve these industries.
As you can see, an ERP selection demands a focused and strategic approach, especially in today’s volatile and competitive marketing landscape.
For a full look at these issues, register for Ultra’s second “New Rules of ERP” webinar, presented with Infor, taking place April 24, 2014.