4 Steps to ERP Buying Success - Step 2

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This is the second posting of our four part series covering the steps that should be taken to ensure Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Buying Success.  If you’ve already decided to change (step 1), then it’s now time to move on to the next step:

2. Define your needs.

You’ve already realized the benefits that an ERP solution can provide your organization.  The decision has been made that it’s time to do something about it.  But what do you actually need done? What does it need to do? There are lots of questions that need to be asked, and it’s very helpful to break them up so that you’re making effective evaluations of what your business needs.  At Encore, we lik­­­­e sports analogies - so we’ve broken the sections down to the “draft”, the “scorecard”, the “playbook”, and the “press conference” to make sure that your needs are clearly defined.

The Draft – What do you need from a new system?

Try creating a wish list of everything you could possibly hope for in an ERP business solution.  In what ways do you think an ERP solution, such as Microsoft Dynamics ERP, could reduce frustration? In what ways would this solution be able to increase your productivity? Where are these opportunities in your organization? Think about the processes that you aren’t able to do today.

The Scorecard – What issues are you having with your current systems?

You’re likely already aware of the shortcomings of your systems; they may have driven you to decide to change in the first place. It is very helpful to record these issues, so that each one of them can be addressed with the implementation of your new system.  Check up with users from every level of your organization, and make sure that you have a good idea of what needs to be changed to increase productivity across your entire business.

The Playbook – How should everything work together?

Your ERP solution’s implementation involves many people and processes.  Having a well-defined set of implementation requirements, however, leads to a smoother and quicker set-up.  Understanding these requirements and sharing them with your future ERP vendor will allow you to know from the beginning how your existing systems will be affected, and whether or not your ERP solution needs to modified to suit your needs.  Consider your existing environment and the changes/adaptations you are willing to make to it - they are going to have an effect on your final business solution.

The Press Conference: What do others have to say?

Once you’ve done a little initial research, check with the people you consulted about the shortcomings of your current systems.  Incorporating all of your users into the buying process, and taking feedback on your direction helps you even more clearly define your needs. The press conference overlaps with Step 3 of the 4 Steps to ERP Buying Success: Choose the Right System.

By Encore Business Solutions – a Microsoft Dynamics VAR for Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV, Dynamics AX in Western Canada.  www.encorebusiness.com


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