4 Key Questions You Should Ask ERP Vendor Candidates
The ERP selection stage is one of the most critical stages of software implementation. And every team in your office should have a say—not just the C-suite.
Before you make any decisions about which ERP vendor services your software, we recommend encouraging your IT and development team to ask potential vendors the following questions. After all, they’ll be responsible for the nitty-gritty technical tasks, so they should feel comfortable with the ERP system you choose.
1. How Often Do You Build New Versions and Offerings?
Depending on your vision for your business’ future, the answer to this question may affect how you structure your implementation project plan. Will your project be impeded by constant updates, or is there a huge new version in the pipeline that will render the ERP you’re about to buy obsolete?
This line of questioning will not only be useful when it comes to building a structured ERP calendar but also will help in giving your team options to find out which version might be best for your company.
2. What System is the ERP Built on?
Learning the system language your new ERP software will speak will be a huge part of your development team’s roles. Depending on whether the software is built in Linux, Microsoft, or a specific coding language, it may take more time for your IT employees to get familiarized and train users on the system.
Additionally, we recommend asking if the vendor has a standardized application on a Web browser or an application that has been developed on different systems, especially if your business has employees who operate on different systems (i.e., Apple vs. Android). Will the application work on both devices or is it based on a web browser that anyone can access from any device?
3. When Was the Original System Coding Built?
This question will have implications for the usability of your software beyond just your dev team. Is it just refreshed old code from legacy software, or has it been completely rebuilt from the ground up with each new system? Perhaps the system has a slick and innovative new user interface, but they’ve just slapped that on top of outdated back-end functionality.
You’ll want your development team to be aware of what they are signing up for and what kind of code they will be working with. Bring your top IT employees into any vendor demos and pilots to ask the in-depth, technical questions. You’ll find that with their input, you’ll have a much smoother ride during ERP implementation, and your team will be better prepared for any bumps.
4. What Will Upgrades Look Like?
Building off our previous question on system updates, we also recommend determining who is responsible for completing system updates. When updates are published, will they be automatically rolled out and filtered into your system, or will your IT team be required to download them? If the responsibility falls entirely to your team, for example, are you prepared to accept it? Upgrades can take significant time out of the IT team’s day.
Alternatively, you may prefer to have control over when and how new updates are folded into your current system, especially if you have sensitive customizations or want only certain parts of the updates. In that case, you may want the vendor to relinquish control to your team.
Your IT team will play a major role in ERP implementation, but they don’t have to bear that responsibility all on their own. By working with an experienced consultant, your IT team has a helping hand in vendor selection, customization, coding, and other critical tasks that could make or break the project’s success. Consultants can even take over the project if you lack the on-site resources and personnel.
At Datix, we have a team of business consultants and technical ERP experts who can help you with anything from start-to-finish in your project. We service a myriad of exciting enterprise software solutions and work to match our clients’ ERP implementation to their unique business processes.
Are you about to undergo an ERP implementation, or does your team need some technical advice when it comes to selection? Get in touch with one of our experts at Datix today!