How to Create an ERP Software RFP: Introduction
Creating a request for proposal is a vital step towards selecting a new ERP during an implementation or upgrade project. By this point, you should have taken steps to document your ERP software requirements for the project and these will provide much of the context required for your RFP. Creating the ERP RFP document is just as important as requirements gathering in the overall scope of the project. A poorly executed RFP document can render your requirements gathering work useless and hamper your project from day one.
You know your business better than anyone. You and your team should have already considered how ERP software will be a valuable tool to help you achieve your goals and meet your needs. You should have assigned priorities to these agreed upon requirements. Now it is time to communicate this information to prospective vendors.
If you haven’t completed documenting your requirements and come to a strong consensus on those requirements, stop. These requirements must be well researched and developed within your organization before you can share them with vendors in an ERP RFP.
Current State and Context
Vendors will read your ERP software RFP document and should immediately understand your business’ current state as well as where you expect it to be over the next few years. They should understand what process improvements you are targeting and how you hope they will help your business achieve these.
You will not have an audience of one at each ERP vendor. You will not be sending your ERP RFP to one vendor only. With this in mind, the context which you give to your requirements must cover all departments, from support to hardware.
The Final Piece of the Puzzle
The final piece of the puzzle comes with an ERP vendor's response. What value is there in your perfectly-crafted ERP RFP document when all the responses you receive come in different formats and at different stages of your ERP selection process. This is your chance to make life easier for yourself at the next stage - dictate the exact response format you would like to work from.
The key thing to remember is that an ERP RFP is about communicating your ERP project. The basic rule of communication is that the sender is 100% responsible to ensure the message is received and understood by the recipient.
In the next article in this series exploring the framework of an ERP software RFP document, we take a look at the RFP section outlining your business - from hardware to staffing and everything inbetween.
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