What Do We All Mean by "Best ERP Vendor"?
We all hope the best ERP vendor is the one we chose. The implementation was flawless, all of our users are completely satisfied, and our profits are up because of the improvements made possible through the new ERP toolset.
More often, the best ERP vendor is the one selected by a magazine after they compared several to some arbitrary standards and gave the award to the vendor that places the most advertising in their publication. How many of those magazines have implemented their own ERP?
Really, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. My best is not likely to be your best. The guy down the block will have his own idea of the best ERP vendor and it won’t match either of ours. You would think he would know better…
The First Test
We thought at first that a particular ERP met all of our requirements and most of our wish list too. Now that it is installed and running, can we look over these requirements and agree that it did meet them? If the answer is yes, then our ERP passes the first test.
We had a time and money budget for our implementation. Were we using it profitably within that time and cost? If we can answer yes again the second test is passed.
We anticipated an excellent return on our investment. At least a year after implementation can we measure the returns and compare them to our total investment of time and money?
Are all our users logging in daily and comfortably using the ERP the way it was intended? Or, have they all found work arounds?
An Elusive Term
Take a look at the term “vendor”. Did we buy our ERP directly from the business that developed the system? If so, they would be our vendor. But if we bought the ERP from a value-adding reseller or from a consulting business, they are our vendors. We could also be in the middle. We purchased the ERP from the developers and we also purchased other services from a third party. Those services might be implementation assistance or perhaps integration with other systems. In this case, we really need to look at both as potential best ERP vendors.
In the end, best ERP vendor is just too elusive a term. Even if we think we chose the best, that does not make them the best for anyone else. We all need to make up our own minds who the best is and then hope we still agree after we are using our choice.
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