Working on a daily basis with a wide spectrum of companies, I believe there are a set of fundamental considerations for ERP selection that hold true regardless of company size—large enterprises with thousands of employees across the globe will face more complexities compared to smaller organizations—industry, and business model.
The first step is to conduct a holistic process review across the business. This analysis will help you determine urgent pain points, bottlenecks hampering productivity, and general areas of improvement. Depending on the resources at your disposal, my recommendation is to involve an external consultant to help you arrive at a truly subjective and unbiased conclusion.
Only when you understand the problem can you start scanning the market for a solution. However, you choose to approach this phase—whether a selection consultant is brought in or whether you rely on in-house expertise—I would strongly advise the following criteria are met:
When the selection has been made, it is crucial to work with your software provider and implementation partner, if one has been selected, to establish a realistic implementation project that all parties can commit to.
Ultimately, it will be transparency and frank communication that will determine the outcome of your ERP project. Just like in any complex transformation project, there will likely be compromises and unexpected developments to deal with. These eventualities will be much easier to handle if you are working towards a shared vision of success with a vendor that you trust.
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