ERP demo scripts: guide and examples
Today’s enterprise software systems represent a host of challenges to commercial operators. This assertion is particularly true when it relates to ERP platforms, since as resources platforms begin to target and subsume various business rules; they also tend to impact every other moving part within a company.
Consequently, to ensure that users start on the right foot, it is best to apply various ‘knowledge-maps’ that establish clearly stated operating requirements, thereby leading to solid decisions when they’re needed most – like the moment when an enormous check is about to be written. One of the most fundamental maps involves the design and application of software demo scripts when selecting ERP systems.
It should be understood that this kind of guidance should be driven by an inside out perspective, rather than the other way round. Many enterprises fail to adhere to this decision bias when buying new systems; and instead end up settling for product demo script samples that are provided by sales folks.
As a core principle, this is a bad idea, and should never be applied. The enterprise itself is the entity that is going to have to accept a system once it’s in operation, and that same entity is going to have to overcome, and/or pay for, any subsequent problems if the whole thing goes wrong; so beware, since this requirement must be adhered to without fail.
Now, after that caveat, here are some simple tips to help you move toward your own tailored demo presentation script.
What do you include in a demo script?
As a matter of efficiency, scripted demonstration templates should be as granular as possible. Consequently, any module or task within a targeted ERP platform should be included. For example, here’s a very short sample of the information typically included in a comprehensive ERP demo script:
- Global overview
- Global functions
Individual module investigations should be added accordingly including:
- General ledger
- Accounts payable
- Accounts receivable
- Cash management
Within each major script heading, individually defined subordinate and individually defined tasks are typically included such as:
- Specific feature sets
- Related functions
- Process integrations
- Individual security necessities
- Utility operations
- Report needs
Bear in mind, the aforementioned list represents only a small sampling of what a complete demo presentation script entails.
What to exclude in a demo script
For all the detail necessary to craft a proper vendor demo scorecard template, there are other elements that shouldn’t be applied at all. Here are a couple of ways to avoid these areas of weakness:
- Direct product comparisons – every product is different in the same way that each enterprise is different. Focus on what you need, rather than what one or more vendors want to sell you.
- Avoid the easy stuff – it’s pretty simple to build a software demo script that only applies to system features that involve current operations; but what about particular elements that apply to growth? The latter question is usually much more useful, since considering future-proofing during a demo script round is a solid hedge against obsolescence later. If you always think forward rather than backward, you’ll be a lot happier later.
- Don’t look for commonality between systems, look for diversity – when you’re defining ERP demo script examples ensure that you’re looking for sure ways to delineate differences between one system and another, rather than trying to re-validate the same wheel time after time. Literary sources suggest that Einstein defined insanity as ‘…doing the same thing time after time, while expecting a different result’. So, in our case, don’t be insane; be smart.
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