Creating your ERP demo team
Who should be involved in your ERP demo team? The more, the merrier…but be sure to have a list of those who absolutely must attend and an alternate if required. Your entire organization won’t be able to make it, but make sure everyone’s needs are represented.
ERP is a tool for your enterprise. That means everyone possible. If your room isn’t big enough, maybe a few will need to hear about it from others. Be sure your team has some relatively formal method to share what happened at the demonstrations with those who , such as through reports, or access to demo notes or live recordings.
Your executive sponsor certainly will be on hand for any ERP demos. That person will need to know throughout the project whether people at any level or discipline are getting what they need and want. Invite everyone on mahogany row. Consider a special demo for this group. C-level might not want to know the inner workings of the ERP system or how to complete a transaction, but they all will depend on data and information from the ERP to make better business decisions.
Managers and directors
In an ideal world members of this group should be able to perform all the day-to-day tasks assigned to team members at the next level. Realistically, these might also be the hardest to attract to the demo. Put your salesman hat on and invite them anyway. Give them a chance to support their teams.
This group includes office people in accounting and purchasing as well as shop floor people and logistics. This is the group whose daily lives will be most impacted by any ERP. There are a lot of people in this group so consider identifying those who are now leaders and those who are seen as the next generation of leaders. Look for people who are smart and quick learners to act as ‘superusers’. These people can then train everyone else and be cheerleaders for implementation when that phase begins.
Engineers and technical staff
This group is important even though many think they are not ERP system users. However, the designs, bills of material, and other work they put out needs to be communicated with the rest of the company and ERP is a communication system at its core. If the ERP you are considering has PDM or PLM, ensure that they have a voice on the ERP demo team.
Sales and customer support
Will the new ERP help deliver orders faster and more on time? Can it provide automatic communications with customers including expected delivery status and tracking numbers? Do you think they will want to see how well this works and what they will need to do? Of course!
What not to do
The worst ERP demo team is one that includes only those few who actively champion a new ERP system. Too often this group does not communicate well and assumes everyone else will like their choice. Get together as big a team as possible and be sure to listen to what they have to say during and after the demonstrations.
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