How to choose the right ERP vendor

Let’s be honest, the enterprise resource planning (ERP) market can be quite confusing.

If you’re considering a new ERP system for your business, choosing the right package – and also the right reseller – is incredibly important.

Package

When choosing an ERP package, you will want to be confident that you have chosen a reliable product that is future proof. It not only comes with a future development roadmap but also further upgrade options. The last thing you want to do is expand as a business and not have the resources to aid and assist this process.

Factors you should consider would be: the market share or the ERP package provider, how many companies rely on the solution? Also the providers’ investment into research and development of the product itself. Why? This research will ensure the software remains suitable for the changing business environment.

Try talking to existing users; this can be helpful in discovering more about the package itself. Conversations like this can provide a real insight into how the software can make a business more productive, and whether the system under consideration will be dependable and able to withstand the daily demands placed upon it.

Resellers

Ok, so you’ve decided on your ERP package, time to invest. Where do you start?

You may well find that your ERP package provider is offered through a reseller. You could initially feel frustrated at having to deal with a ‘middle man.’  And you wouldn’t be alone. However, many ERP providers use resellers because there are numerous advantages to the end users. Such as:

  1. The reseller may have a local presence and more closely match the scale of the customer’s business
  2. Customers may experience the same issues as other users, bringing ‘critical mass’ to requests for change
  3. The customer has more leverage with the provider as the reseller will know the correct escalation channel within the provider organisation
  4. If the customer is not satisfied with the support being delivered, they can switch their service contract to another reseller.

When it comes to the right partner, businesses should consider their choices carefully. The wrong reseller can make the best software fail, so it is an important decision.

Of course, cost is a factor – both the upfront outlay for the software and the long-term investment of ownership. Equally important is the need to feel comfortable in having a partner who understands the business and can provide the right support in a relationship that will hopefully last many years.

Research and take a look at various resellers’ websites and read their published case studies. These will be a good indication of how they have helped other businesses with similar issues and ambitions. Later in the purchasing and installation process, talking to existing customers, visiting a reseller’s premises and meeting their teams would prove beneficial. Scope out the whole process before you choose to invest.