3 Non-Technical Factors to Consider When Selecting ERP

Would you believe it if I said that the most important factors to consider when selecting ERP software are non-technical? What ERP factors am I then implying should be deliberated? Read on to find out:

Being an avid Internet surfer, information parser and technology evangelist, I was recently thinking about non-technical issues that are top-of-mind in the Mid-Market Enterprise space. As a lover of technology, I get a thrill out of analyzing scenarios after extracting all the technology arguments, but I often also like “getting back to the basics.” To do this, I have the benefit of first-hand hindsight purely by virtue of my age and experience. I have lived through various technology fads since the early 80’s and seen trends come and go. Some stick and some don’t, but they all play their specific sound in the greater symphony of the Enterprise Application space. Does anyone remember the concept of Strategic e-Fulfillment? A decade ago it was the flavor of the day, but today it doesn’t exist. Microsoft spent millions promoting .Net, today it survives, but in a morphed form. Service oriented architecture, single-source, extended, social technology, social media enabled and other ERP industry buzzwords jostle for position at the top of the buzz word list. The result is that they tend to clutter the reality from your perspective. So, as history has shown, it’s important to consider factors beyond technical trends. In this post, I am going to attempt to exclude technical terms in order to offer a non-technical perspective to selecting ERP solutions and vendors.

Let’s get back to basics and remove the technology, buzzwords and hype. Here goes, three simple (non-technical) ERP factors to consider:

Culture - Selecting ERP software or an ERP Vendor that matches your company culture

If you were getting married, you would not marry someone you don’t like or didn’t have anything in common with. Getting an ERP System and up and running is the start of the relationship; the real value comes down the line when you can really start leveraging the system. To do this, you need to work with your Vendor or their partner closely. Having the same culture and value system as your provider goes along way when ensuring things get done right. How many times have you heard the saying, “The right people make it happen?” Yet when selecting vendors how often do we forget to stop, observe and consider how we will get on with our vendors for years to come? Address this proactively instead of suffering the consequences down the line.

Consistency - Consistency paves the road of success

Work with companies that have positive track records, and have delivered many successful systems while maintaining a consistent leading role in their respective sector. Stay away from the “fly by night “vendors- companies that are undergoing continuous public company and investor changes and acquisitions. Don’t be bullied around by inconsistent salespeople worried about closing quarters and reaching targets. Look for a vendor that has a proven record of consistency across the board.

Success - Success is the ultimate goal.

Look for success not in the words of the vendor, but in the happy testimony of their customers. Are customers talking about the success they’ve experienced with the vendor and the software? Are the successful customers in the same industry as you or in similar or allied industries? Don’t be scared to ask a vendor for customer references or success stories. If they are there, they will be forthcoming. Success is not about the vendor’s success but about their respective customer’s success and the potential for you to succeed. Focus on the benefit the product will deliver to you. If existing customers are receiving benefit, there is a good chance you will too.

My first boss once said, “If it’s complicated, it’s wrong.” Well, I believe he was right; the multitude of buzzwords, technical jargon and self-fulfilling marketing terminology does tend to cloud reality. I am a complete tech junkie, gadget freak and technology convert and I do believe that the right technology is the difference between normal profit and super profit. However, I also encourage you to get back to the basics and consider the non-technical ERP factors when choosing which ERP or Enterprise Application Vendor to partner with.

Guest Blog via SYSPRO

SYSPRO is a supplier of ERP software to mid-market manufacturers and distributors. SYSPRO has more than 14,500 licensed customers in over 60 countries around the globe. For more information on SYSPRO, please visit here.

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Harold Katz

About the author…

Harold Katz is currently head of marketing, spearheading SYPRO USA's marketing efforts and providing feedback on technological enhancements.

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Harold Katz