How to rank ERP vendors based on their ERP demo

A crucial step in assessing an ERP vendor is to assess their demo. Being able to see it in action is invaluable and it provides an opportunity for all your major stakeholders to see it and give their thoughts.

But if you have a lot of ERP demos to assess, it can be time-consuming. And how do you make sure you’re comparing the right features when it’s the vendor leading the charge?

Here’s how to make sure you’re getting the most of each demo so you come away with the information you really need...

Put together a comprehensive ERP demo script

When asking for an ERP demonstration it is best practice to put together a demo script. This creates a level playing field for the ERP vendors and gives you a criterion to assess them that your team can relate to.

The ERP demo script should form part of the Request for Proposals (RFP) document. It should state the following:

  • Company information and introduction
  • System overview
  • Menus, features, and navigation
  • Customization capabilities and what the standard offering includes.
  • Report writer
  • Security options
  • Support

Once the vendors have the script and the appointment booked it is time to put the offering through their paces.

Check out our free template for your ERP demo to prepare for your vendor demos

What to assess in an ERP demo

It is good practice to score the demo against the following:

Functionality/performance of the ERP

Here, your team needs to see a list of the features and functions the ERP demo addresses. It should match your choice as outlined in the information provided. The hardware, software, and networking configuration information need to be given.

It is good practice to request information on how much time, effort, and skill went into setting up the demonstration.

Each factor demonstrated should receive a score from each team member.

Ease of use and graphical interface

Each team member should rate how easy the system is to use and how intuitive. Is it a flow or a headache? The better the navigation the fewer errors made.

ERP process and flow

The team should assess how well it fits the business needs. To this end, it’s good practice to ensure the team includes end users so you get their unique perspectives too.

Flexibility and adaptability

This is a rating of how flexible and adaptable the system is. Will it still be a viable ERP in 5,10, 15 years’ time? Map your growth plans, consider emerging tech and future integrations and have these in mind during each demo.

Adherence to script

This is a rating of the vendor rather than the performance of the ERP demo. Did they get it right or did they mess it up? Getting it right indicates they have a good understanding of your business.

Choosing the ERP vendor for your business

Each member of the team should score individually and the results for each vendor totaled.  This will allow for more in-depth discussions and a more informed decision made on which ERP vendor to go for.

Once you have the scores, discuss each vendor’s strengths and weaknesses. If you need more information or clarity about a vendor, ask for it before you make your decision.

This decision is a massive undertaking and you do not want to get it wrong.

Finally, the vendor should be open to questions. Vendors who don’t may not have the best support options at their fingertips.

Although this feels like a drawn-out process, it will help you make a significant business decision that can considerably improve workflow and productivity. And the chances are, you’ll be making a significant financial and time commitment to your transformation when you have made your choice. The more careful you are pre-choosing, the quicker you’ll see ERP gains.

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Helen Peatfield

About the author…

Helen Peatfield is a writer, editor and marketing consultant with a wealth of experience in ad tech, supply chain management and SaaS. When she is not typing away at her desk, she can be found scuba diving or wakeboarding in the sunny Gulf of Thailand.

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Helen Peatfield

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