By studying, evaluating, and documenting the evaluation these 5 key criteria, our clients make the educated decisions that are best for their company.
Our ERP Selection Experts Help Our Clients Evaluate Five Criteria
- Function fit
- Cost of ownership
Once the vendors have been identified, the team should go about a process of evaluating these criteria. Here is a definition of each criterion.
Company size (annual revenues and number of employees) becomes very important in your evaluation. Who will make the best partner? Who knows my industry the best and has the most references of companies like mine? Are they committed to serving my industry? Who will be able to keep my company abreast of technology changes for the next 20 years? Who will make the best vendor partner?
We find that most companies have developed a technology strategy favored by top management and IT. You will also find that ERP vendors have their technology strategy. Even though most vendors profess they are open systems, in truth each vendor has their technology “sweet spot”. Understand the technology platform and architecture for each vendor and measure it against your strategy.
Even though there are dozens of vendors that have a good function fit, you will find that there are only about three or four vendors that are the best fit for your business. The key in your evaluation is to quickly find those vendors that best address business best practices for your industry.
ERP vendors have a number of ways to support their client. The larger firms have significant support ecosystems to support their market. Buyers should evaluate all of their support systems including the following:
- Consulting organization
- Implementation methodology
- ERP implementation methodology
- Maintenance and phone support
- User groups
- Partner network
Cost of Ownership
Learn from the customers of the vendors their cost of ownership. We find that at the “end of the day” most software vendors all get to the same price for software. A number of other factors differentiate vendors with cost of ownership. Annual support fees vary, implementation rates and fees vary, and ongoing need for support varies from vendor to vendor. Look to understand and confirm the total cost of ownership over a five year period.
Ultra guides its clients in the development of a decision criteria table that documents all the facts gathered in the evaluation phase organized by the above criterion.