Three things to ask before making your final ERP selection
You and your ERP selection team have spent a lot of time talking to potential vendors, watching their demonstrations, and evaluating their proposals. You have eliminated all but the very best contenders. What’s next?
1. Have you triple checked your requirements list?
Did you leave any ERP requirements out of the list? Probably not, but now is the time to be certain. Is there any remaining concern about your finalist vendors meeting all of your priority requirements? Let the whole team have a voice because once the agreement is signed there won’t be any easy fix is a concern becomes reality.
Is your executive champion backing your choice and does the entire executive team agree? No matter what ERP you choose, the project will have a difficult path toward completion without the executive team on your side. Your requirement list is likely at least a few months old by now. What has changed in your business environment during that time? Maybe there are some different requirements to evaluate ERP against.
2. What assumptions have we made?
We all know how assumptions break down quickly and often in a disastrous way. Start a wide-ranging conversation about your assumptions right now. If you assume that some integration will be complete in four months and some requirement will then be met, now is the time to make a backup plan if the integration is not complete then. Think about whether one ERP vendor is in the running only because you assume some shortfalls in their system will be corrected. Maybe another vendor with a less glossy demo can meet your business needs just as well.
3. How confident are you that your users will accept a new ERP and use it?
Sure you had many varied users watch the demonstrations. Some users even had the opportunity to put their fingers on the keyboard and use the ERP. Remember though that people often change slowly and some have a difficult time with any change. Have you considered whether you need some kind of change management help for your users? Will you have a great training program? It can be in-house, or led by your vendor. You could bring in training consultants. You will need to do something.
ERP super users are a key component of helping your users. They will be among the first to be trained and will also help train remaining users. They will also be your first line of support when users have questions. And they will ask questions during the first days and later when some less-regular task needs to be done.
Step back, relax and ask yourself and your team if you have selected the right ERP and your users are prepared. Do it right the first time.
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