As you prepare for ERP selection, it’s important to lay out a plan that incorporates external ERP guidance. This guidance is essential throughout all phases of software selection, including:
- Background & Planning
- Analysis (RFP process)
- Evaluation (Demos)
Unfortunately, many organizations, especially public sector organizations, choose to execute ERP projects without consultant guidance. They jump right to the RFP phase, submitting generic information about their needs to various ERP vendors.
Today, we’re going to be shouting our advice from the rooftops.
Here it is . . .
Hire an ERP consultant before releasing an RFP to ERP vendors.
Sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many public sector RFPs we’ve seen asking for vendors to respond instead of consultants.
7 Benefits of Using an ERP Selection Consultant for the RFP Process
1. Expertise and Experience
ERP selection consultants have extensive experience understanding business requirements and evaluating various enterprise software systems. Their expertise can help you make informed decisions based on your unique needs.
Software Selection & Process Improvement Case Study
In helping the client get its project back on track, one of our primary focus areas was decreasing their customization needs by improving their processes to align with the system's best practices.
2. Independent and Objective Advice
Many ERP consultants are independent entities, not affiliated with any specific vendor. This impartiality ensures their recommendations are focused solely on finding the best system based on your requirements and long-term goals.
3. Wide Range of Options
Independent ERP consultants have a comprehensive understanding of the enterprise software market. They are well-versed in the offerings of various software vendors, including both well-known and niche solutions.
4. Tailored Solution Identification
Every organization has its own specific requirements, processes, and industry considerations. Software consultants work closely with you to understand your business intricacies, goals, and challenges. They can identify the ERP solutions that align with your unique requirements.
5. Streamlined Evaluation Process
Evaluating and selecting an ERP system can be a complex and time-consuming endeavor. Software consultants streamline the process by leveraging their established methodologies and evaluation criteria. They can facilitate requirements gathering, organize vendor demonstrations, and analyze the results, making the selection process more efficient.
6. Negotiation and Contract Assistance
Once you have identified the most suitable ERP software, consultants can provide assistance during the contract negotiation stage. They possess knowledge of typical licensing models, pricing structures, and contract terms, enabling them to negotiate favorable terms. They ensure the agreements are fair, transparent, and aligned with your organization’s interests.
7. Project Management Support
Many selection consultants offer project management support during the implementation phase. They can help you create an implementation plan, monitor progress, address issues, and ensure the system is successfully deployed within the defined timeline and budget.
What Will Happen if You Go Directly to ERP Vendors
You will get flooded with responses.
If you don’t take the time to understand your current business processes and pain points, you’ll struggle to outline detailed software requirements. Instead, you’ll just provide high-level requirements, unintentionally inviting respondents to offer whatever products meet this low bar.
Our software expert witnesses have seen plenty of software litigation cases where one of the primary causes was a hasty selection process.
An ERP Consultant Can Help You Write a Better RFP for Vendors
An experienced ERP implementation consultant prioritizes the following activities to ensure their client’s RFP receives high-quality responses:
- High-level strategy meetings
- Requirements gathering by functional area (usually 200 to 800 requirements)
- High-level process mapping of current state
- RFP creation and distribution
- Response analysis
A consulting team that focuses on getting you the highest-quality RFP responses is the kind of team you want by your side when making business-altering decisions.
Our ERP consulting team can help your organization gather requirements that clearly tell vendors whether they are the best fit. Request an ERP consultation below to learn more about the RFP process for finding a vendor, (and if you’re in the public sector, the RFP process for finding a consultant).