Monday, November 29, 2010

Buying an ERP System – Recommendations for Customers

A recent checklist from Inside-ERP (“ERP To-Do Checklist: Things to Ask Before You Write That BIG Check To A Vendor”) included four items that really resonated with me:

“What are the specific business problems you need to solve with ERP? For instance, do you need to shorten product lead times or improve communications with your suppliers? Are there industry regulations to which your company must adhere?”

Sounds very much like statements of CBI’s (Critical Business Issues) or underlying Problems/Reasons, used in creating Situation Slides for demos.

“What are the goals and metrics that you will use to measure the business benefits of your organization’s new ERP solution? A good starting point for these metrics are the KPIs — such as inventory accuracy, cost reductions and month-end closing processes — that your company is already tracking.”

Wonderful examples of possible measurements of the Delta – the value of making the change.

“What features and functions do you need from a new ERP solution that will help increase users’ productivity and provide access to the business data users most need?”

Simple statement of the Specific Capabilities needed.

The fourth recommendation promoted the idea of an implementation timeline – Transition Vision – and the concept of Early Wins “to allow you to implement them in phases... Taking the implementation in prioritized steps gives IT managers and ERP users a chance to learn new processes.”

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