In our previous blog, ERP Consultants, we started to address the overwhelming issue of an ERP system search. Whether you have the extra cash flow to hire a consultant or, you are bold enough to start the in-depth search on your own, you will be faced with many inquiries that you will need to address from the very start of the process.
For the sake of variance, we will take the approach that you will be doing most, if not all, of the research on your own. Before starting your search you need to survey your company and find out what works and what does not. Find out what the crucial needs and pains are at every level. A constructive method could be as simple as asking those affected. When you are evaluating software options you should now have these needs in mind, allowing you to ask the ‘right’ questions. This will then allow you to evaluate which solutions will be able to best fit your needs.
High priority needs are, typically, increasing on-time delivery, improving quality, and decreasing inventory cost. What are yours? Identifying a wish list of things that may not be as crucial would be the next step. By identifying these ahead of time you should be able to weed out ERP solutions which do not solve your more pressing pains while helping you short list those solutions which do. Remember, most of the items on your list should be resolved by an ERP solution without major customization.
Another key consideration is your unique strengths and competitive advantages. ERP vendors will tell you of “best practices” in areas that “will” help improve your company, but may not be the best practice for your unique business. It is vital to keep your strengths in the forefront of your mind, just as much as the weaknesses. This will allow you to choose a solution that will help solve your problems, without compromising your competitive advantages.Posted by Francisco Pena, Sales Engineer, ProfitKey International