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Selecting the Best ERP for Your Company

July 7, 2017

Properly selected and implemented ERP software can help companies increase revenue, greatly improve efficiency and overall improve competitiveness and market agility.maximize efficiency and improve management of your databases. However, many managers and business owners make mistakes when choosing and implementing ERP software. Follow these five steps high-value points to help you select the best ERP and begin improving the productivity and growth of your organization:

1.     Have enough calendar time: No less than three months for small firms

Selecting ERP is involved. Even if there is apparent early clarity on one or more ERP candidate, many details need to be confirmed and getting cost and terms right nearly always takes more time than expected. Above all if the sellers determine a buyer is in a rush and the seller believes they are winning, they will nearly always find ways to confound the legitimate objectives buyers may have for favorable pricing, commercial terms, and implementation resources and timing.

2.     Just the Relevant facts: Nothing else matters

The functional screening of candidate ERP should focus on high-value business processes. The buyer must educate the sellers on these key business process objectives and then orchestrate ERP reviews that continues this focus. Have no interest in generic presentations and other emotion-based statements about their software and ability to deliver results. If your executives are not on the selection team, there is no reason for the ERP sales people to speak with them. 

3.     Cloud ERP: Understand the benefits, risks, and hype

Cloud ERP is generally described by the following attributes: (1) ERP hosted by some entity, (2) ERP maintenance and upgrades managed by another entity, (3) Remotely accessed by users, and (4) Pay as you go subscription model. Once educated, buyers become aware of the pros and cons of details within these attributes and their options and usually make much better decisions how and if Cloud ERP fits into their organization. Otherwise big mistakes can be made.

4.     Reducing ERP access costs: Huge opportunities exist

The places to save costs are many and are complicated to understand and negotiate. Functional modules and user types have different access rights and rules. Further constraints can come from buried contracts terms. It is usually a real mess. And this mess favors the seller over time—in nearly every case. If these cost discussions are controlled well one can gain access to on-premise and Cloud ERP for 50% or more reduction from typical list pricing.  This is for initial and ongoing costs.

5.     Buyer commercial terms offered are awful: It does not need to be this way

Most ERP access contracts provided by sellers are simply awful. Awful for buyers, but quite stellar for sellers. However, buyers have options to achieve a balanced status in such contracts and the resultant commercial relationship.

These five key points are greatly expanded upon in a one-day ERP Life Cycle Management workshop offered by Catalyst Connection. This education is presented by our partner Mark Engleman, a national ERP project expert—and is based on the learning of over 900 ERP projects since 1996. This event, being held on Thursday, August 24th, will address topics such as ERP selections, ERP implementation planning, and enterprise software strategy planning. Click here to learn more and to register. 

About Catalyst Connection

Based in Pittsburgh, Catalyst Connection is an economic development organization dedicated to helping small manufacturers to improve their competitive performance. Catalyst advisors, consultants, and instructors offer training, consulting and administer financial programs that can provide funding for equipment, machinery, or capital improvements. As a nonprofit 501 (c)3 firm, the organization has been supporting Southwestern Pennsylvania manufacturers for more than 25 years. For more information call 1-888-887-7472 or go to www.catalystconnection.org.

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