4 Costly Assumptions That Lead Businesses to the Wrong ERP Solution
Selecting an ERP solution for your business is no easy feat. It demands a focused attention to detail and a well-researched understanding of what your investment should deliver. From the word go, you need to know your ERP vendor is honest and reliable, provides comprehensive support, any roadblocks have been explored and that you are solving critical business problems.
That’s why it’s vital to understand where things could go wrong when making this business-critical decision. So we’ve outlined the key assumptions that tend to lead organisations to the wrong ERP solution and how they can get back on track.
Assumption #1: "You Said It Was 'No Problem'"
There can be huge misunderstandings at a software demo. Confusion usually arises due to the nature of software: you can’t pick it up, poke it, nor hold it to the light. The product is intangible, which makes assessing it extremely difficult.
You need to make sure what you’re buying is what you need. Don’t be afraid to drill down and get granular with your questions – you’ll kick yourself later if you don’t get a clear view up front.
Ask an ERP vendor if they can include an extra piece of software or additional training, and they say ‘no problem’ – dig deeper. Find out specifically what is outlined in the contract and the service level agreement.
Don’t assume anything is free and don’t give prospective partners ‘the benefit of the doubt’. At the end of the day, you’ll likely be forced to pay the price if there’s any confusion.
Assumption #2: "Didn't We Talk about This before We Placed the Order?"
You outlined what you wanted. You had a thorough discussion about your requirements. Then the supplier provided a quotation for a system. You assumed the items offered covered everything you discussed.
Well, you were wrong.
Unless specifically stated, never assume an important feature comes as standard. As a buyer, you need to see every part of the software in action before signing on the dotted line.
You are free to outline your requirements. A supplier is free to offer something else. Software must conform to the supplier’s specification and proposals, so ensure additional or special requirements are unambiguously included otherwise the wrong ERP solutions might be just over the horizon.
Assumption #3: "I Just Expected It to Work"
Avoid making assumptions about features that are critical for your business. Even the best supplier won’t instinctively know what you need if you don’t tell them explicitly. Never assume all solutions are created equally or that there is a standard level of service and type of software provided by every ERP vendor.
This is especially relevant if you are moving to a new system. Just because one system is better in certain area, it doesn’t mean it will be a better system overall. Ensure you create a checklist of absolutely everything needed from your ERP system and use it with every prospective supplier.
Assumption #4: "But Our Old System Worked That Way"
Imagine buying a TV without an HDMI port. It just wouldn’t happen.
But with software, suppliers can define what they mean, and explain it in the small print that nobody reads. They don’t need to say what it won’t do.
Just because some systems include a particular feature does not mean that another must provide it free of charge (unless advertised). Historically, there have been examples of imported software that didn’t handle local tax. A fault? No, it’s like buying a manual car or a book printed in another language.
Did you check that it’s what you wanted beforehand?
With little time to waste in product and service research – knowing what questions to ask can drastically improve efficiency in your ERP selection process and reduce the chances of you selecting the wrong ERP solution.
Featured white papers
ERP Software Pricing Guide
Get your comprehensive guide to the cost of ERP softwareDownload
70 features to look for in your next ERP
A comprehensive guide to help you identify requirements for your ERP selectionDownload
60-Step ERP Selection Checklist
Get the comprehensive checklist for your ERP selection projectDownload
Single vendor vs best of breed ERP
How to assess single vendor vs best of breed ERP systems
What are the ERP tiers?
A breakdown of what ERP tiers are, and how they apply to ERP systems
ERP selection process steps for small businesses
The ERP selection process steps you should take as a small business