FUTURE-PROOFING YOUR ERP SELECTION

THE FAST-PACED MARKET

With the rapid pace of change in the market and most companies trying to make changes just as quickly to keep up, it’s prudent to think strategically and look for ERP solutions that can continue to support your business as it grows or diversifies.

Finding the right system for your organisation means not only addressing the functionality you need today but assessing the functionality for the medium to long term as well. The choices you make in this regard will, of course, inform each step of the selection and implementation process, so it’s important to get them right.

WHY YOU SHOULD THINK AHEAD

Every ERP selection project should consider functionality that might be required in the future.

As you get further into the nitty-gritty of the selection process, the questions needing answers will naturally shift from which system is right for the business toward more specific details such as which modules to purchase and which functionality to implement, and in what order. Also, are there legacy systems needing replacement to factor in?

It pays to have answers to these questions before you sign the contract with an ERP vendor!

SET AND MANAGE THE SCOPE

A useful technique for future-proofing the ERP project is defining a detailed scope at the beginning, before the final selection is made and contracts are signed, and then managing that scope throughout.

Map out which functional areas (and/or business unit, site, country, etc., as appropriate) will be the focus during each part of the project. That map should define:

  • which areas are in scope for the selection project,
  • which areas are in scope for each phase of the implementation,
  • what software you plan to buy now, but isn’t included as part of the initial implementation plan,
  • which are future (rather than current) requirements (i.e., requirements to consider during the selection project, but that you don’t intend to buy or implement the software for yet), and
  • which areas are not in scope.

As the selection phase progresses and the available functionality becomes clearer, it is normal for opinions to change about what does and does not need to be in scope. But it is important not to let bells and whistles throw the selection off course. Make sure vendor proposals and solutions are based on the defined scope and have them present the actual implementation plan.

If you want to speed up the process of selecting vendors, you can meet many of them at once by visiting our ERP HEADtoHEAD™ event.

Following nine successful editions in the UK and Ireland, we are bringing our ERP HEADtoHEAD™ to the Netherlands for the first time. This event offers a unique opportunity to meet, compare and experience leading ERP vendors and their products. So how about gaining knowledge on ERP systems that might otherwise take months of planning and meetings to achieve? Compare the leading ERP products against defined scripts, not a series of generic sales presentations. This explains the success of the event, because it is all about one thing: efficiency!