As an independent ERP consulting firm, we help quite a few clients through their ERP evaluation and selection process. One thing we see even more often is sales reps’ assertion that “yes, our software can do that.” Whether it is handling complex product pricing rules, unique product configurations, or international shipping requirements, it often seems as if any particular ERP package can do anything.

Don’t get me wrong: most modern ERP software is very robust and powerful. However, packages handle certain functionality to varying degrees of success. They may also vary in the levels of complexity they can handle. Therefore, asking a simple “yes” or “no” question about software functionality can be misleading without understanding the details of how it works.

We always encourage our clients to not only define business requirements as part of their ERP software selection process, but we also advise them to define their desired business processes so they can see potential ERP software packages in the context of their workflows. Often times, it is only by seeing the software perform your business processes that you can really assess whether or not the software handles the complexities of your business.

This may just be one step in an effective ERP software selection process, but it is a very important way of deciphering sales-speak from the reality of software functionality.

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