Like most things in life, the more prepared you are for something, the better the outcome. That same principle applies to conducting a successful ERP software demonstration. By following the tips below in preparing vendors and participants, you will already be on the path to a successful ERP demo.
Tips for Preparing the ERP Software Vendor
Explain the ERP Requirements: You spent relentless hours gathering ERP requirements, so make sure the software vendor understands them! An ERP vendor can’t demo what they don’t understand. Don’t get caught letting the actual demo be the time of clarification.
- Set Expectations: Not only should you explain ERP requirements, but you should also explain what the software vendors can expect during the demo. At Panorama Consulting Group, it is best practice to have the vendors spend the first hour of the day with all SMEs in the room addressing cross-functional requirements (i.e. dashboards and workflow) so they don’t waste time on these requirements during the functional sessions.
- Dual Stream and War Room: Capitalize on the ERP vendor’s time! If possible, try dual streaming the demo to make sure all material gets covered. If questions are taking over a minute to address, set up a parking lot for later discussion. It is also ideal to set aside a “war room” as a chance for these parking lot items to be answered while vendors are on site.
- The Early Bird Gets the Worm: Provide the software vendors with an early morning start to test their equipment. Nothing is worse than a room full of anxious participants staring at a blank screen.
Not only should you prepare the vendor before the demo but you should also do the same for the participants as well.
Tips for Preparing the Participants
- Be Informative: Provide information such as the demo agenda and invites ahead of time. Business must continue as usual, so make sure the participants have time to cover their basis. Also, don’t forget to explain the scoring process so participants can properly gauge the sessions. Using demo scripts to write comments as they go will help jog their memory when inputting their scores digitally.
- Set Guidelines: The ERP demos are the finale of the requirements gathering process. Attendees should be on time and attend the same sessions for each software vendor. If participants aren’t consistent with attendance, they can’t provide a reliable score.
Last but not least, remember these helpful reminders through the process to keep you on track and increase your chances for a successful ERP software demonstration.
- Remember to evaluate the ERP software based on requirements as apposed to vendor performance. When all is said and done, your daily life will revolve around the software, not the best performing vendor.
- Designate a timekeeper to make sure sessions stay on schedule. Once the demos start to venture off track, it becomes very difficult to make up for the lost time. Remember, set up a parking lot for questions and even speak with the vendor before hand about the potential for WebEx follow-ups.
If you would like expert assistance with your ERP software demonstrations, visit our ERP selection page and learn more about our service offering.
Blog entry written by Jacqueline Gardner, a Senior ERP Consultant at Panorama Consulting Group.