Does the Method Matter? A Close Look at ERP Selection Methodology

When It Comes to ERP Selection, Does the Method Matter?

An effective ERP selection methodology must be more than a focus on technology. The methodology should focus on improving overall business processes, which in turn leads a manufacturer to increases in productivity, information timeliness and accuracy, customer satisfaction and business performance.

ERP Selection Methodology Defined

The concept of “ERP selection methodology” refers to a specific set of tasks and activities that make the entire ERP selection project more efficient.

The methodology should shorten the project duration. The methodology should also incorporate tactics to increase user acceptance. With a focused selection method, the manufacturer becomes more effective, the ERP vendor becomes more efficient, and the process builds a foundation of information, education, and documentation that will increases the client’s project success.

Methodology Best Practices

have found that a “business process” evaluation methodology is most effective when evaluating ERP vendors.

This best practice integrates ERP selection with business process improvement, implementation and Business Intelligence (BI) requirements. Fully integrating these areas makes ERP project teams more efficient and reduces overall “time to benefit.”

The ERP selection methodology should put the emphasis on business process definition (both current state and future state) to drive the evaluation project.

After looking closely at the business process, the team can then move to identifying the vendors that best fit and meet the required ERP selection criteria addressing the company’s specific industry.

Methodology Tasks

Activities that are part of a best practice approach to ERP Selection Methodology include evaluating:

  • Software functional fit to the future state business process needs
  • Vendor’s presence and strength in the manufacturer’s industry
  • Vendor’s technology direction
  • Vendor’s support ecosystem
  • Total cost of ownership

The methodology should deliver the following:

  • Identification of vendors
  • A vendor interview process
  • Development of “evaluation drivers”
  • Decision criteria table
  • Process driven demonstration scripts
  • A vendor product presentation and evaluation process
  • Evaluation vendor implementation capabilities
  • Vendor price and contract negotiations

Final Thoughts

As we have noted before, an ERP selection project is a key component to a successful ERP implementation. Very often, implementation projects that fail to attain expectations can be traced back to poorly executed ERP selection projects.

That’s why it is important to remember that manufacturers gain value when there is a careful approach to ERP selection methodology.

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Jeff Carr

About the author…

As Founder/Managing Partner of Ultra Consultants, Mr. Carr brings over 35 years experience helping manufacturing and distribution companies improve their information systems.

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Jeff Carr

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