As company managers consider the implementation of a new enterprise resource planning system, they're likely to realize the decision goes beyond a face-value assessment of potential ERP vendors and their products. In order to make the right decision, warehouse operators should find out what life looks like after software deployment – among other things.
The six questions below can help managers navigate the selection of an ERP system and ask potential vendors the right questions throughout the process:
1. Have you worked with other companies in our industry?
Decision-makers might find satisfaction in knowing a potential vendor boasts skills or experience relevant to their own industry and the company's needs overall.
2. What do you see as our company's biggest setback, and how can your software help fill that need?
As ERP Cloud News noted, this is an exceptional question managers can ask to qualify potential ERP vendors. It forces vendors to step outside of their product, apply some critical thinking and provide an answer that is truly applicable to your company.
3. How long will the implementation process take?
Naturally, company management will breathe a sigh of relief knowing their ERP can be implemented in a timely manner and minimize disruption within the company's infrastructure. At the same time, don't be too impressed by a company that has a shorter process. There's a possibility they're in a hurry to get to the next client and will leave out vital steps in your implementation process.
4. How will any setbacks be handled?
Along the same lines, you should ask about potential ERP vendors how they handle setbacks that could potentially affect the implementation timeline. Taking too long to solve an internal ERP problem frustrates both workers and customers who are waiting for changes to roll out; rushing to meet a deadline, on the other hand, could wind up causing long-term problems that cost your company more money over time.
To get a realistic sense of how a vendor handles such setbacks, ask them to talk about their biggest project downfall and explain how they handled it, how long the solution took and what the outcome was.
5. What happens after software deployment?
Any ERP vendor can put a new system into effect at your company, yet not every vendor will be on hand to answer questions should that system need troubleshooting after it's been set up. For this reason, many managers will seek out companies that can provide the peace of mind that comes with post-implementation support.
6. Do you have a list of referrals you could send over or can I talk to a current client who is using the software?
While it's comforting to know a given vendor has worked successfully with other companies, particularly those in your industry, it's even more encouraging to hear those words from the clients themselves. For this reason, don't hesitate to ask for written testimonials or – better yet – contact information so you can speak to a current client about their experience.