As an independent ERP consulting firm, one of Panorama Consulting’s core competencies is helping our clients evaluate and select ERP software that is right for their situation. Part of our job is to manage the hype by grounding the ERP software selection process in objective reality.
For example, how many times have you heard one of the following statements when researching ERP solutions?
- “We have the largest market share in your industry, so we are the right fit for you”
- “Our software is cheaper and easier to implement that other ERP solutions”
- “The whole industry is moving toward our type of solution, so you should too”
While some of these statements may be true in some cases, relying too much on broad generalizations is very risky. Even if you were to assume such statements to be true, every company is different and has (or should have) unique variables, drivers, and decision criteria.
One example is Software as a Service (SaaS). If you simply look at industry trends, SaaS solutions are gaining traction and momentum in this down economy, particularly in the SMB space. The over-simplified value proposition would be that SaaS is cheaper, easier, and faster, and everyone is moving in this direction. However, as I stated in a recent blog entry, this is a very simplified generalization that may or may not apply to your situation.
For example, instead of making blanket statements that may or may not fit with our clients’ situations, we ask questions such as:
- How are your business requirements different from those of your peers or competitors?
- How much time and money is it really going to take to fully implement ERP as a business solution, not just a piece of software?
- What are you trying to accomplish with your ERP solution and what are your driving factors?
Questions such as these are much more meaningful data points than hype-based statements during an ERP evaluation and selection process. It is important to remember that you are choosing software based on your business needs, not based on flavor-of-the-month trends.