If you’re looking to implement and select the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system or Customer Relationship Management (CRM), HR/Payroll, or another software for your company be sure to keep these tips in mind to make the selection process more efficient.
1.) Create a Long List- If a program isn’t in your Long List It will not be considered! Include as many software options as you can in the initial stages this process. It is important to include both general ERP software providers and those that specialize in your specific vertical market. Vertical market software is likely to provide more functionality for specific industries than general ERP vendors. Many companies are caught in the trap of only looking at a handful DevOps metrics of the top brands and not considering other vendors which aren’t as well recognized, but offer great solutions to suit the needs of the business.
2.) Focus Requirements on the differentiating Criteria While there may be hundreds, and even thousands of requirements for functionality, the factors that determine the difference between the selection and elimination of the software provider can typically appear on two or three pages. These are what we call “Differentiating Criteria.” Utilize these criteria to remove applications from your Long List quickly and objectively. This can help you save a lot of time and allow you to focus on the most crucial needs.
3) Select the Value Added Reseller/Implementation Partner – Many of the major mid-market software vendors sell their software through local and national Value Added Reseller’s (VARs) including Microsoft, Sage, Infor, Epicor, and others. They will demonstrate and sell the software, as well as implement the software. Since they are independent of the software manufacturer There could be a variety of VARs within your area which sell the same software. Each has advantages and disadvantages. The selection of the correct VAR could determine the success or failure of your project.
Larger Tier 1 and Tier 2 vendors like SAP, Oracle, and Lawson provide direct implementation services as well as independent implementation partners that you can utilize. These partners may have more experience in your field and offer lower rates for billing than the vendor’s implementation team. Be sure to consider every option for implementation.
4.) Hold Scripted Demos If you are able to narrow down to a list of around 3 software vendors, it is recommended to make use of a scripted demonstration procedure. The scripted demo requires either the vendor of software or the VAR to alter their demo to demonstrate how they can meet your business’s specific needs. Also, it allows you to assess the vendors in a fair manner. Be sure to allow time for the vendor to demonstrate some of the bells and whistles that might be interesting.
5.) Negotiate the Contract After you have made your final decision on the software you want to use, you’ll sign three contracts to the seller: Software License, Implementation Services, and Maintenance. If you choose a software product that utilizes an Software as a Service (SaaS) model, you will be required to sign an Service Level Agreement (SLA). Be sure to bargain the price, but do not forget to negotiate the aspects of business in the contract as well. Software vendors create the contracts to safeguard their interests and you must negotiate to safeguard your interests in the contract.