There are a number of questions you might ask during the ERP selection process: Is the ERP system cloud-based? How reliable is technical support? Will the software vendor be around in five years, because, jeez, I don’t want to have to learn how to use a new ERP system again?!
These are the questions on everyone’s mind. But these are all the wrong questions.
It’s About Your Business, Not the Software
Think about it. Your organization’s competitive advantages were born, nurtured and developed by people, not software. If ERP software was all we needed, we would just flip a switch and drink cocktails with little umbrellas at the beach.
Right now, your business is known for an overnight turnaround on delivery, and you have the best quality rating for your class of product on Amazon. Is this a result of some out-of-the-box ERP system, or is it a result of your organization’s well-designed business processes?
ERP software is a tool, and it is incredibly important to use it correctly. When talking to an ERP vendor, you should ask the right questions, and this requires a thorough understanding of your current state and future state business processes.
Hold Your Horses
Before selecting an ERP system, you should begin by mapping out your current business processes. If any business processes need optimization, you may want to engage an ERP consultant to assist you with business process reengineering. With clearly defined business processes, your organization will have a better idea of the business requirements that your ERP system must address, and you’ll be ready to begin digital transformation.
While ERP vendors know their product inside-and-out and can validate your required functionality, they don’t know your organization as well as you do. It is up to you to paint a clear picture of your business and the differentiators that fuel your competitive advantage.