4 Questions Every ERP Vendor will Ask You

If you’re reading this, then you’ve probably come to terms with the fact that in the near future you need to move to a modern business system. You might be running a basic accounting package that the business has outgrown, or need to upgrade from an outdated legacy system. Whatever the reason, this can and should be an exciting time. Once you know where the bottlenecks are in your processes, you can begin finding solutions, which can be the fun part. Although, that’s not how people typically see it.

Even though the buying journey is an extended one for a new business system, the knowledge of how much more efficient you can be is a great driving force. Where the process can get sticky, is when expectations aren’t being managed and met, or the preparation was lacking before you engaged with potential software vendors.

As a rule of thumb, I’ve laid out 4 things to consider and have answers ready for, which are standard questions any ERP vendor will ask – most likely at the first meeting.

What is the timeline for making a decision, and to go “live” on a new system?

  • This will dictate everything that happens next – the timeframe for a demo, resource allocation, software implementation and training, etc... If you are not prepared to change your system within the next 12 – 15 months, you’re still in a high-level research phase and probably do not need to engage with a vendor quite yet.

Who is the individual and/or team that will make the decision?

  • Moving to a new business management system is a big commitment of time and resources. The decision maker/s need to be educated on what solutions work best for their industry, the hosting options available for the software (cloud or on-premises), and talk with others who have made the switch before. Reviewing some free resources like videos and eBooks before engaging with vendors will help the process move quicker.

What are the biggest pain points a new system must fix?

  • This one speaks for itself. Breaking down and documenting the bottlenecks in your process. Building the internal requirements for a new system and clearly knowing what the “must-haves” are, versus the “nice-to-haves” is critical for receiving a properly tailored demo. You need to see how a new system will resolve the issues that are holding your business back, not every feature under the sun.

What is the budget for the entire project?

  • This is something you always want to get out in the open early, especially if this is your first ERP purchase. Do not be blindsided by the cost after you’ve had multiple meetings and a demo. An ERP undertaking is a large investment of time and money, but the efficiencies and cost savings it produces coming out the other end will make it well worth it. It’s good to remember that implementation services will usually be 1 to 2 times the cost of purchasing the software (industry standard).

I hope this sheds a little light on how to be prepared and begin the process of changing business systems. If you want to learn more and set up a 30-minute call with our team of professionals, contact Empower Business Solutions at 814-942-8777 or learnmore@em-powered.com. We’ve been helping small and mid-market customers since 1989.

By: Empower Business Solutions, http://www.em-powered.com/resources

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