The ultimate 2018 ERP selection checklist

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Selecting a new ERP is a complex process with many variables being fed into one end of the funnel, and only one system coming out the other end. This ERP selection checklist covers some of the questions you need to be asking yourself prior to ERP selection as well as post-ERP selection. Also covered are a range of industry-specific ERP selection decisions which need to be made to ensure your ERP selection process goes smoothly.

Prior to ERP selection

Rushing through the ERP selection process without investing time into assessing whether your system meets your business needs is a guaranteed way to ensure your project fails. Before selecting your preferred ERP, you should at first consider the factors listed below.

  • Have you selected an ERP selection project lead?
  • Will you supplement your ERP selection team with any consulting expertise?
  • If yes, have you identified the role an ERP consultant will play in the selection process?
  • Have you received references from the consultant’s previous clients?
  • Which C-level individual will be your executive sponsor for the project?
  • Are your ERP requirements documented in an accessible and detailed format?
  • Are your ERP requirements a fair representation of all departmental needs?
  • Have prospective ERP users had a say in the requirements gathering process?
  • Are your requirements prioritized?
  • What is the expected monetary value of meeting these requirements?

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  • Will this return on your investment be enough to satisfy senior management?
  • Is there a non-economic reason dictating your ERP choice?
  • Are those reasons in writing and is there agreement from all departments?
  • Do you have any ERP integration requirements?
  • Are you looking for cloud or on-premise software?
  • What are your ERP requirements for mobile devices?
  • What languages and currencies must your new ERP support?
  • What support level do you require from either your vendor or a third party?
  • What ERP training do you require from either your vendor or a third party?
  • Have you received any references from other businesses in your industry?
  • Have you drawn up a shortlist of potential ERP systems?

Industry ERP choices

Different business types will have different requirements when it comes to selecting an ERP software. It's vital to consider what your business niche needs to operate effectively; what a fashion retailer requires will be vastly different from a 3PL business. Here are a few industry ERP choices you may consider.

Manufacturing specific:

  • Where do you need visibility in your supply chain?
  • Is it time to integrate a manufacturing execution system?
  • How will machine to machine communications help your ERP system?
  • What business intelligence tools are you looking to use?
  • Is now the time to integrate automation systems such as pick to light or voice picking?
  • Do you need to connect your measurement tools to record directly in your ERP database?

B2C businesses and retailers

  • Do you require CRM in your ERP?
  • Do you need to link to your customers’ systems for downstream visibility to demands?
  • Should your customers be able to place orders directly using eCommerce?

Relevant to all business types

  • What quality control requirements will you ERP have to support?
  • Which areas of wastage are you looking to reduce with a new ERP system?
  • What compliance requirements does your business have and how will ERP meet these?
  • Is the user interface modern tiles or old-style drop down menus?
  • How difficult is it to change the words in the standard interface?
  • Will the ERP support all the languages you use?

Post-ERP selection

Once you've satisfied the above criteria, it's time to address your selected ERP system. Not many businesses will be able to work with an ERP out of the box, there will likely be some customization needs. Consider some factors below:

  • Can you use your selected ERP as-is?
  • What will the hardware requirements be for your selected ERP?
  • What is the condition of your existing network?
  • Will you need to add any staff to manage your selected ERP?
  • What is the predicted total cost of ownership of your selected system?
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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

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