Microsoft ERP Software Implementation Success Part 2: Homework and Collaboration
Homework & Collaboration
Once a business has come up with clear defined goals that the new ERP system must achieve and defined some tangible metrics to judge success then the next step is to find the right product and the right vendor.
There may be industry verticals supplying specific software to meet the needs of your business, or a tailorable ERP system may meet the needs of the business, but the key is to investigate, find out what your competitors, vendors and customers are using. Many businesses send out invitation to tenders listing hundreds of questions filled in by potential vendors based upon an assumed set of answers to open questions. Whilst these may assist in narrowing the choice down, the choice of software alone cannot be based upon these.
It maybe that the software choice can be narrowed down, if it cannot get businesses in to present the benefits of the software they supply. Once you can decide on the software to meet the needs of the business you need to choose the correct vendor, not simply the vendor who helped you define the software choice.
Does the vendor have the ability to transform the business to help achieve the set goals? If they cannot the likelihood is they are not the correct vendor. However there are other methods that can be employed to judge the suitability of the vendor. References must be taken, preferably with site visits and face to face contact. Can the customers acting on behalf of the vendor stand in front of you and tell you why you should choose the product and the vendor? This endorsement will show how the vendor and customer act in a relationship, and this is a key concept to understand if you wish to purchase from the vendor, because if you do you will soon be in the same position as the reference extolling the virtues of the supplier. Ask about the implementation methodologies; what standards are used and are these industry recognised, proven and successful in the field delivering tangible results?
Any vendor seeking to develop a long standing successful relationship with you as a customer must be able to assist you in reaching your aims, and will be able to prove they have done this in the past and have the tools and resources in place to deliver a successful project.
If you cannot trust or work with the vendor then the project is very unlikely to be successful. Therefore choose the vendor very carefully.