What to keep in Mind while finalizing an ERP?
No. of ERP Implementations done by Vendor
Many new companies come into the market and claim that they have an ERP which is new and better from all others in market. This is a complete wrong logic for selecting an ERP. A client should not become a place for 1st experience for the ERP. Always trust on an ERP which has many organizations already working on for minimum more than 1 financial year. This will give you the assurance that all processes are in working conditions and the ERP has gone ahead with the test of time, errors, bugs etc.
Feedback from existing ERP clients of the Vendor
Before finalizing an ERP its important that you talk to some clients of ERP Vendor. A vendor who is confident of his ERP will not hesitate to give you contact details of his clients for real feedback. All the clients of ERP Vendor might not be using the full ERP because of their own reasons so it’s better to take the contact details of the clients from the ERP Vendor where they have successfully implemented the ERP.
Total Modules of the ERP provided by the Vendor
A solutions which centrally automates and covers all the departments and processes of an organization can only be called ERP. Before finalizing it should be checked that the ERP is actually covering everything for which it is meant for or not. Incomplete ERPs will obviously not be able to automate all the processes.
Future Plans of the Vendor with the ERP
Once an organization starts working on an ERP it’s really very difficult to roll back to old manual working or migrating to a new ERP. Hence it’s important that the vendor who is providing the ERP should have a long term vision and plan for satisfying the future needs of the organization.
Cost of Ownership incurred by Client
ERP Implementation is a huge process where various levels like Installation, GAP Analysis, Customization, Data Entry, Staff Training etc. are involved. Before finalizing the time needed for GO LIVE of the ERP should be checked and it should be analyzed that how much manpower and support the vendor is providing the client for a smooth and quick Implementation. A very long implementation process brings lack of interest in the staff and indirect expenses for the organization.
Implementation Plan of the Vendor and Payment Installments accordingly
The Payments for ERPs always have to be on the basis of milestones and in installments accordingly. Clients have to understand the charges of AMC, Customizations, additional onsite support after implementation etc. while purchasing the ERP to avoid confusions and confrontations later.
After Sales Support
Once the ERP is successfully Implemented then also constant support from the vendor is needed in terms of training to the new people joining the organization, customizations and error handling. The ERP Vendor should have a constant support cell that can give support to the clients as and when needed and also develop new processes if required. Good ERP vendors keep a documentation system in place so as to keep track of every issue raised by the client and the timely solution provided to the client for the same.
Since all the data from all the departments are managed into ERP Security of that data is of prime importance. Security of Database should be managed on the server. The ERP should have proper management on user rights so that details cannot leak out to wrong hands.
Resources Required to run the ERP
The client should have or should be ready to invest in all the resources like servers, additional computers, proper network architecture supporting licenses, qualified staff/ERP Manager etc. ERP Vendors usually do not provide hardware interfacing devices like bar code scanners, time and attendance machines and I Cards etc. these things will have to be additionally purchased by the clients. The ERP however should have the features of integration from all these hardware.
Experience and Confidence of the Vendor
ERP are a wonderful example of use of technology to make life easy and in business terms reduce efforts and time to generate better results and profits. Before finalizing an ERP the confidence of the ERP Vendor in his system and his past experiences with all his ERP Clients have to be discussed as that is the foundation for a successful ERP Implementation by him.