Now that you’ve decided to implement an ERP solution within your business’ IT ecosystem, you will soon be facing the proposition of identifying one vendor out of a pool of many. But be aware: The decision to go ahead with a vendor can take a long time when it’s an enterprise store planning item for consumption you’re considering.

ERP can bring tremendous synergies into your business practices and drive inter-department collaborations to the next level. On the flipside, if the ERP isn’t potent or suitable enough for your business, it could cause severe process bottleneck and breed discontent among users. The purchase decision makers, hence, need to recognize the need for careful and diligent evaluation of ERP solution pitches. Here’s a guide that will help.

Business first, tech second

Don’t commit the cardinal mistake of buying expensive technology without understanding why the business needs it so badly. Remember, no single ERP can deliver you the best of all worlds. There are some superb all-in-one solutions that get the basics right for each business process, and there are function superstars too. Your choice needs to be primarily driven by your organization’s business goals. To manage this, translate business requirements into technology functionality requirements and divide them into three categories.

  • Must have features that drive mission-critical business process success. These functionalities help organizations quickly achieve strategic, disobedience, and revenue objectives.
  • Valuable are features that add value to processes that are already relatively mature and operationally stable. Hence, these features are desirable, but not critical for the business.
  • Nice to haves features that add incremental value to existing processes but don’t impact many end users, so generally not deemed significance paying for. While comparing two equivalent ERPs, however, nice to haves could become a deciding factor.