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By: Anju A.P

How to Choose the Right ERP Vendor?

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Industry 4.0, in other words, the fourth industrial revolution has brought many revolutionary changes in the business. A blanket of digital transformation is spread over the business improving its efficiency and effectiveness in showcasing the best deals. The industrial revolution has also resulted in positive implications for enterprises making them reap unlimited business benefits from the ERP implementations. The fusion of technology and artificial intelligence in these ERPs has brought many rapid changes like data automation, integration, improved analytics and many more. In current, there is hardly any confusion existing over whether to invest in ERP software or not, rather, it is all centered around how to make the best out of it.


ERP application has significantly impacted the business in a profitable way. The tool has greatly helped the businesses in saving their time, cost, effort and money. Thus, now, we are no more in short of the ERP applications in the market. There are hundreds of choices out crying the benefits of integrated management systems for businesses.


But how do you guarantee yourself of the returns from an ERP implementation? The answer lies in your partnering with the best ERP service provider. A good ERP vendor or service provider can guarantee you immediate not but assured future returns from the ERP implementation.


Your enterprise may come across many ERP kinds from Generic to Industry-Specific. You might be listed with many choices like open-source, closed-source, license-based, cloud-based and so on.  Ultimately, understanding the business requirement and wisely choosing the application assessing its strength and weakness, earns you rewards.


But how to do you assess this ERP a “good-fit” for your organization? Here are the questions you need to ask yourself before buying. 


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Once you are okayed with the selection of software, next is fixing the vendor. Like selecting an ERP application for your business, selecting an ERP vendor is equally important. Of course a daunting task. There should be taken into consideration many things while choosing your ERP vendor. Because, no matter how rich is your ERP features, if it isn’t properly implemented, there is nothing left to obtain. 


Going for a demo can be the easiest and simple hack to judge your ERP and your ERP vendor. A demo can picture how far the ERP will help in providing solutions to various issues your business is facing and how far the vendor will be able to fix things in perfect for you.  


Read- Odoo Demo: Benefits at Glance


It is sufficiently not enough the vendor’s product matches your business requirement. However, it is more important to have an ERP vendor beside you supporting in throughout the phase of implementation and post-implementation. You should select a vendor who can guarantee you a long-term commitment of support. 


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This article intends to help you in wisely choosing your ERP vendor for a successful ERP execution. We list certain checklists to look before making a choice of your ERP vendor. However, there are many more to go, when you compare two ERP vendors providing similar solutions. 


Here are a few important criteria for picking an ERP vendor for an effective ERP execution.


Specialist Industry Knowledge    

Each business industry is unique and has its own set of challenges and difficulties. Teaming up with an ERP vendor who has some expertise in your industry, and is good at giving industry-specific solutions rather general is likely to help more. Choosing vendors, who have implemented projects in a domain similar to yours can better understand your business needs. You are definitely ensured to profit by the experience and bits of knowledge of the group of specialists as they communicate in your language and comprehend your business needs completely. This spares a lot of time and exertion, decreasing the measure of customization required. Thus faster and quicker your ERP implementation process. 


Though the core solutions offered by the enterprise resource planning system is the same, there can be many significant add-ons the service provider can recommend for you to add values to your business process. If your ERP vendor is already literate and expert in managing the procedures and pitfalls of your specific industry,  they can easily enhance the procedure by laying quick and effective solutions. It’s even okay to check with your vendor for the customer reference just to assure yourself. 


Remember, the ERP vendor you are choosing should be an exponent in handling every feature of the ERP modules including the strategic capacities which are critical to developing your business. There might be a few situations where you need to customize the features through coding. Therefore, also check the ERP vendor’s experience in handling ERP customizations.


Long-Term Continuity

A solid reputation of achievement justifies itself with real evidence. Aside from going after the industry-specific solutions and incredible client support, you should also look for a settled ERP service provider who can get you with the long-term support plans. It is advisable to choose an ERP service providers who have vested interest in both your current and future success.


In the wake of shortlisting the potential service provider, audit their profiles. You can assess an ERP vendor from his web-presence and social engagements. Or on the other hand, you can ask them straightforwardly during the meeting. 

Discover who their customers are. All the more critically, search out for references from organizations that are like yours. 


You should connect with the vendor’s customers as this is the best assessment tool to discover how the potential vendors treat their customers and how their ERP frameworks work. 


By talking legitimately to ERP vendor’s customers, you will have the chance to assess whether the ERP frameworks you are thinking about are appropriate for your business and whether you should proceed to the following stage with the merchants.

 

An accomplished ERP service provider will have a strong record of customer satisfaction and a high reputation within your industry. You can, therefore, easily rundown of organizations like yours where the vendor has implemented ERP software applications. Contact those individuals and talk to them extensively. 


Get some information about the vendor’s ERP executions. Check what issues did they experience with the ERP vendor? How could they handle them? How responsive was the merchant when issues emerged? Was the execution completed within the set deadline? And so on.


Make sure your ERP supplier is rich with ERP domain knowledge and is an exponent in adhering to project management best practices. Seeking testimonials is the best pointer to measure the potential ERP supplier’s credibility and reliability.

 

Team

How is the team you will be working with? How experienced they are? Also, check whether the developers you met during the initial selection process are the ones who will be taking care of your project in the coming days or are they ringers just got to make it happen. 


While the experience of the organization is significant, it's the experience of the individuals who will be taking a shot at your project and that truly matters. Getting the work done from a reliable and experienced source can guarantee infinite business benefits. It gets you qualified developers, experienced experts, high coding standards and best industry practices. You need not worry about any future mishaps in the application as the application is tailored by experts. Also, quick resolution of bugs and business issues get easily sorted with the help of a team.


Support

Before you join hands with any seller for your ERP implementation it is essential to comprehend the support plans and the costs required as various merchants will have a distinctive degree of support and maintenance structure. It is smarter to get answered every question on support, as you need in the initial stage itself. If you don’t get a proper support during the ERP implementation GO-LIVE phase, it is likely to fail completely.


Vendor indeed has a significant job role in the achievement of ERP execution. However, an ERP execution gets successful only when your team and ERP vendor both work intently on the advancement of each function. Placing everything on the shoulders of the ERP vendor can be unsafe. 


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In order to reap full benefits from ERP implementation, providing user-level training is highly critical. Your team should be provided with adequate support and training to use the application in an optimal manner. 


Comprehending together the ongoing vendor support and other miscellaneous online training will essentially bring changes in your workplace. Your workers will quickly learn and adopt the application at their pace.


Development & Deployment Strategies

There are different choices for deploying an ERP application. You can either incorporate them on-cloud, on-premise, Software as a service. During the meeting with your vendor, check whether they offer the deployment option that you seek for, that meets your organizational needs. This can likewise give you an idea of the expense and execution time for ERP software.

 

Likewise, access the methodologies your ERP vendor uses to execute the implementation of the ERP for your business. There is a wide range of methodologies practiced by ERP service providers and understanding them in detail will help in rightly assessing the quality and implications out of it. 

Cost


The first step to find your ERP vendor is to list the number of modules you'll require and the number of clients you have. Given that data, your vendor will prescribe the cost of the product. Most of the ERP framework will have core modules in similar. Therefore, you can rightly assess one vendor's costs against another's when making cost examinations. 


Remember the real cost of the ERP software incorporates its implementation charge, annual licensing and support. 


Hope you got a gist of ERP vendor selection criteria. 



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