There’s no better way to learn how to manage an ERP selection and ERP implementation process than by hearing it from someone who has just been through the process. Hearing it from a consultant or software vendor is one thing, but hearing it from an actual implementing organization can often times make it seem more real.
One of our recent ERP podcasts featured an interview with a client of ours, the President of a mid-size field service provider that recently selected and implemented new ERP software for their organization. There were several helpful lessons from that interview. For example, the client highlighted some of this lessons and tips from his company’s software selection process:
- The importance of an independent ERP consulting firm. One of their difficulties was finding a consulting firm that was truly independent and didn’t represent one or more specific software vendors. They looked long and hard before hiring Panorama Consulting to help them select and implement their chosen software.
- Define business processes and requirements. One of the key aspects of their evaluation was to document the tribal knowledge throughout the organization. They defined new, more clearly defined and standardized business processes that would take their company to the next level. In addition, they used the evaluation as an opportunity to define their business requirements and priorities.
- Focus on the important stuff. They understood that no ERP system would address each and every business requirement, but they knew which business needs they absolutely had to address.
- Vendor negotiations are critical. They leveraged Panorama’s experienced team to act as the bad guy and establish their position with vendor, while at the same time protecting them from potential strains with the vendor as a result of the negotiations.
- Address major challenges. One of their biggest challenges was getting everyone across the company on same page to define what was critical to the company as a whole. In the past, different departments and functions had focused on what was important to their area rather than to the entire company, so ERP was a challenge and opportunity to change that mindset.
- Key pieces of advice. His comment to those about to select new ERP software is to set realistic expectations for implementation and to understand the total cost and ROI of the investment in the new solution. These are two pitfalls that they almost fell into before being advised by Panorama to set realistic expectations.
There are a host of challenges and lessons in any ERP system selection process. However, these are just a few pieces of advice provided by one of our clients. Listen to the full podcast interview to hear more ERP selection and ERP implementation lessons from the company.