4 ERP Support Questions to Ask Your Vendor

You have looked at many ERP systems and considered many ERP vendors. You have decided on the ERP that best fits your requirements. But, before you sign on the dotted line, there are a few more questions to ask about the level of ERP support you will receive from your ERP vendor.

1. How Can Your ERP Support Process Help Us?

This is a simple behavioral-based, open-ended question. You want to get a complete reply that will lead to further conversation, which in turn will hopefully reinforce your decision to select this support organization. Who takes the call? Where are they located? What is the process that develops from taking the call to someone actually beginning to help? Who will work with me to resolve the issue? Where are they located? Is the person an employee or a contractor? What are the person’s qualifications? What happens when the ERP support issue cannot be completely resolved over the telephone? Your vendor’s response to these questions should give you immediate reassurance that their support services offer obvious advantages over an internal ERP support policy.

2. What Pricing Plans Are Available for Your Support?

Is there a single annual fee? Are there any event-based fees added on? Do they offer a monthly payment plan? What other costs might be added to the annual fee? When was their last price increase? All questions that should be asked before you have chosen an ERP support provider, not after.

3. What Support Guarantee to You Offer?

Now take the time to hear about their “absolute satisfaction guaranteed or your money back” policy. How is satisfaction defined? It is better to have quantitative guarantees from your vendor than qualitative. How long does this ERP support guarantee last? What is their guaranteed response time for online support inquiries?

4. What Are Your ERP Support Renewal Rates?

Which customers renew year after year and why? Ask for a story about a customer that did not renew and why. You want to hear reasons on both sides that ring true for you and your business. You want to hear that a high ratio of customers do renew. Ask for a number if they fail to mention one in their initial answer. Failure to provide quantitative data is an obvious warning sign.

Ask about a past customer whose support ran out. Why? Did the software become obsolete? Was the customer hard to deal with? How did they behave during the last months or weeks leading to the end of support? Someday you will choose to end support and you might want to continue in a good working relationship just on different terms. You want to hear a story about their actual behavior in such an event.

Phrasing your ERP support questions to elicit a behavioral response allows for a detailed reply that can be extended with follow up questions as needed. These questions also avoid the chance your replies will be scripted generic replies that only partly fit your unique needs.

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Tom Miller

About the author…

Tom completed implementations of Epicor, SAP, QAD, and Micro MRP. He works as a logistics and supply chain manager and he always looks for processes to improve. He lives near San Francisco Bay in California and can be found on the water in his kayak or on the road riding his motorcycle. Contact Tom at customerteam@erpfocus.com.

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Tom Miller