When purchasing new ERP software, you do not decide in a rush. After all, it is a huge investment with a significant impact on your business. If you make the right choice, you will start working more efficiently and profitably. Making a wrong choice however, could - in the worst case - mean the end of your business. In the selection process most attention goes out to the software functionalities and processes, but what remains underexposed is CONTINUITY. While it is crucial not only to look at the present, but also to make the best choice towards the future!
Continuity of the system
You want a software solution that provides in your needs right now, but also remains the best choice in the future. Pay attention to:
- Technology: A system based on outdated technology can cause some severe problems in the future. It can lead to restrictions in possibilities and/or it can bring your organization at risk. Think for instance about speed, interfaces, electronic payment, security, reliability, etc.
- Foundation of the system: Is the foundation of the system user-friendly, modern and with extensive functionalities? Or was it built by a whizz kid somewhere in his attic?
- Add-on of the partner: What features and options were added to the system by your ERP partner? It is important that this matches the requirements of your organization.
Continuity of the partner
The partner's continuity is just as important. Take a look at:
- Customer base: How many organizations are running on the same system? And are these organizations active in the same industry as you are?
- Financial figures: How did your ERP vendor perform in recent years? There are plenty of financial figures available that will give you a good idea of the financial status of the ERP partner.
- Focus: Does your ERP supplier approach all companies it comes across or is there a clear specialization in one or a few industries? In the long run, only the second strategy is profitable.
And if your partner goes down anyway, has the source code of the software been held securely at an escrow party?
Of course you cannot control the continuity of your ERP system and ERP partner, but there are a few indicators you should certainly pay attention to. That will cost you little effort and can save you a lot of misery.
Philip van Kemenade is marketer at Dysel and is in contact with software end users every day.