Four ways to stay in control of your ERP software demos

One could select their company’s next ERP system based on which vendor had the flashiest demonstration. Some vendors seem to believe that is a common method as sales people certainly can develop flashy demos. But, there is a better way.

1. Make them come to you

Require the vendor to come to your place of business for the ERP demo. This action will allow more of your team to see the demonstration.

ERP is an enterprise-wide software system so getting feedback from across your enterprise is important.  Demonstrating at your place of business creates a clear implication that the demonstration is yours and not theirs. As well it should be.  Who is preparing to spend a lot of money and investing a lot of time toward their business’ future?

2. Give the vendor a script to follow

You developed your list of necessary features to manage real issues you face today and expect to face in the future. You went on to list more benefits that might not be required but you classed as “nice to have”.  

Make ERP vendor demos work for you with this step-by-step guide to getting the most from vendor presentations

The demonstration at your site must cover all your requirements. Time spent demonstrating a salesperson’s favorite feature that is not on either list is time wasted. Ask the vendors for their script in advance and then mark it up to become your script. Then, at the demo, make sure your script is followed. Ideally, you can develop a single script that all prospective ERP vendors will work from.

3. One presentation for all your team

Your business might have many sites in multiple time zones. Someone who should attend will be travelling no matter what day the demonstration will be held. Arrange for the demonstrations to be streamed live through the internet so that everyone who should see the demonstration has an opportunity. All those people around the globe can then see the same demonstration and have the opportunity to respond as a team and listen to the same feedback.

4. A single team voice

Delegate one member of your ERP demo team to take notes and coordinate. That one person distributes their notes among the team members so that the whole team will have a common memory of the demonstration.

Certainly others will take notes too and the designate might miss a point. Agree among your team on a final set to be used. That same person is the note taker for all the demonstrations. One common process will help compare apples to apples when the demo phase is completed.

Use internal messaging to send any questions on the demonstration to that person. The vendors hear a single voice that represents your team and their replies have more consistency.

ERP system demonstrations are a key phase in selecting the right system for your organization. Make the most of it, as there is usually one chance.

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Tom Miller

About the author…

Tom completed implementations of Epicor, SAP, QAD, and Micro MRP. He works as a logistics and supply chain manager and he always looks for processes to improve. He lives near San Francisco Bay in California and can be found on the water in his kayak or on the road riding his motorcycle. Contact Tom at customerteam@erpfocus.com.

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Tom Miller