The final step in any software selection project is confirming that the preferred ERP software is working as demonstrated in the “real world.” The entire selection process is based on sales presentations, and while many software vendors are very professional and honest, knowing how the ERP solution functions for others is critical to finalizing your selection. Below are tips to help you perform your due diligence:
- Ensure that the demonstration will convert to added-value functionality
Even with a very complete RFQ and extended software demonstrations using your data, you still need to be sure that demonstrated capability will be converted into value-added functionality. Experienced demonstrators and pre-populated demonstration databases can show functionality in a very positive light, which may not fully represent what your staff needs or don’t communicate the potential challenges of achieving software implementation success.
- Reference check all critical operational requirements for validity
Take production scheduling, for example. A vendor presents how the scheduling software simultaneously considers the work center capacity, mold/tooling availability, and qualified staff availability. However, reference checking the effort to set up this functionality, what challenges were overcome, and how long it took to achieve an accurate finite schedule should be understood clearly.
- Supplement reference calls on specific functionality with overall customer satisfaction research
Some ask, why do reference checks when vendors provide only positive references? There is significant value in knowing why ERP software is working successfully elsewhere. Gaining insight into the how the implementation was managed, how well modifications were completed, the quality of user training, and recommendations to help your company achieve the best value from the software are important. The success of others can increase the likelihood of a similar result at your company.
- Check references
Reference checking is a critical step to completing the selection process. Converting the demonstration experience into validated knowledge about the capability of software and how to optimize its value to your company is an essential step to completing your ERP software selection journey.
Harry Landsburg, DVIRC’s Director of Business Process Technology Consulting, has worked with over 300 companies to document how their business processes can best be supported by upgraded or new software. His approach to relating the way his clients operate to the technology marketplace results in a better selection and implementation outcome.
DVIRC can help with our solution-agnostic expertise of the ERP marketplace and experience with hundreds of companies improve how they do business. If you would like a complimentary consultation to discuss your business needs and address how better processes and software can support your growth, contact us.