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Written by Francis Bazinet

Steps to Successfully Select an ERP

Acquiring a new ERP is often one of the most important projects for a company. Several factors can contribute to this decision, such as growth of the organization or obsolescence of technological tools. However, this project should not be seen as a necessary evil, but rather as an opportunity to increase profitability and competitiveness.

The importance of a rigorous process

  • A selection process is an effective and reassuring approach to avoid future challenges to the software.
  • It will enable the organization to set up a foundation based on the consensus of its managers, in order to begin the considerable project of implementation on a high note.

This is excellent news! Unlike many challenges with external imperatives, the company will in this case have full control to carry out its project. In the event of failure, they will have hindsight to analyze the approach advocated.

As shown in the above graph, managing the project as if it was re-engineering, and not just a technological upgrade will ensure its success.

This is usually either a success or a failure, but the correlation with the approach used has long been demonstrated.

Ref. Hammer and Co.

The company will thus have to find a partner who has demonstrated its capabilities in terms of business processes and technological aspects. It will then be possible with the support of this partner to define the optimal operational model.

An ERP must meet the needs of optimized processes and not just those currently in place

Here, the selection process is often deficient. We must therefore be cautious of the needs expressed by the users, because they most often create confusion.

We prefer, as a team, proceed to a realignment of processes in the form of a future vision by incorporating good business practices, and then determining the essential functional requirements. This step is important in the process of ownership of change by key players in the business.

Now We Can Start the Selection Step

Critical features for the ERP to deliver value must be clearly identified and mastered by the selection team. They are too often drowned in a list ranging from 800 to 1000. An unethical integrator will see the opportunity to dazzle all the possibilities of its solutions by voluntarily hiding the weaknesses. In this way, the company, the selection team and even the integrators inevitably get lost in the following steps.

The risk is high ... some missing features of the chosen solution will inevitably have a high impact on several aspects of the project: costs, delays, acceptance, and therefore value delivery to the company. This is the scenario frequently encountered because of an inefficient selection process.

On the other hand, a well-understood future vision of the processes and a list of essential criteria well-mastered by the selection team has the advantage of allowing the latter to control the agenda of the discussions and not the other way around.

An ERP is for a long time

Beyond the current functionalities, there is also the longer-term vision of the business model of the company to be considered. 

Opportunities are changing so fast with the digital age

With the current explosion of possibilities offered by digital technologies, several publishers are struggling to keep pace with the development of their solution. In this respect, we sometimes meet companies that have chosen a solution that evolves little. They must invest in complementary applications themselves instead of relying on the innovations of their ERP partner.

Make sure to partner with a strong ERP partner who can invest heavily in the opportunities of the digital age. It's not your business that has to pay the price. 

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