5 Sources For ERP Selection Advice & Opinion
When it is time to shop for a new ERP, you need to solicit advice and opinions from as many sources as possible. But you must be sure to seek out only the most useful of these sources, everything else will just cloud your judgement. So, where should you turn?
Independent ERP Experts
Start with the experts. There are many independent resources online where you can read expert ERP selection advice and compare ERP systems without worrying about vendor bias. There are many sharp people in the world who are willing to share their knowledge and expertise for free. Take advantage of this source. Learn about general interest subjects as well as the fine points of specific software packages. Pay attention to live speakers at industry conferences. Why not get in touch with them? Often you can find an email address and many will be glad to spend a few minutes helping.
Pay Attention to the Ads (Yes, I Said the Ads)
Reading advertorial and marketing content may be an unexpected source of ERP selection advice, but it is crucial nonetheless. You know these are not impartial but they can be a valuable resource. If they claim to specialize in your industry you can consider moving them to the “maybe” column of your analysis. Some ads will suggest questions to ask. You know their ERP can answer their suggested questions but these will give you a starting point for questions to ask other potential vendors.
Consider a Consultant
Consult your consultants, of course. Your CPA and other advisors already have a concern for the health of your business. Many have already helped other clients with ERP selection and know the playing field well. Their rates might be high, but it is hard to beat the combination of knowing your business and the ERP world at the same time. The only caution is if a primary source of their revenue is from ERP sales and implementation, they might be biased toward their own product.
Education & Industry Organizations
APICS were the origin of a lot of the theory behind ERP systems. Get some textbooks and study up. Take a course. They are in the education business and can help you understand ERP in general and how the components of the system relate to each other. All this will help you select the best ERP for your business.
Your network can be a great source of ERP selection advice. Talk to your contacts in any industry but particularly in your own. Make new contacts. Ask what ERP system they are using. Ask what they would do differently a second time around. This source of opinion and advice is likely the most powerful.
Finally, remember this is your choice. It is a tool to help you meet your needs. Anything else, no matter how pretty the bow, is a choice to be discarded.
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