Errors in ERP selection are usually due to ignorance. That is why an ERP selection process should also be tailored to the company's level of knowledge. Accordingly, the company must be prepared for the selection and the ERP selection process must be prepared for the company.0
Is the company ERP-ready?
To this end, the company's "ERP maturity level" must first be determined and the objective of the ERP project be determined. This can be problem-oriented or growth-based, for example. In doing so, the company's understanding of the process is determined. Of course, the current or planned IT projects and the existing IT structure in the company must also be included.
In order to be able to determine ERP maturity, the company must be closely scrutinised. The following questions help in the ERP selection process:
- Does the process documentation (if available) at least roughly correspond to the processes?
- Do they already work with a certain process orientation, i.e. across departments and with added value for the customer?
- Is one aware of the importance of the Master data management Is there a process in place that regulates this?
- Is there maintenance and support management in the provider area and within the company?
- Is/was an ERP system already used or did you work with spreadsheets?
- Are there qualified employees for ERP systems?
- Is there an IT structure? If so, is it integrated into the corporate strategy or/and the business model?
Every time the answer to one of these questions is "no", the ERP selection process changes. Because no matter how well presented offers of ERP systems are, they cannot be specifically selected for the company if the selectors do not have the necessary experience.
The right requirements in the ERP selection process
Especially when a company selects an ERP system for the first time, it is difficult to define criteria according to which ERP providers can be selected. Since no specific data structures or processes are yet in place, many ERP systems can be used in the company. In addition to the basic criteria for the ERP system, there must be other requirements according to which a provider can be selected. These are, for example, awards, user reports in the same sectors or the appearance of the provider in the professional public.
Three important steps in the ERP selection process
In the actual selection process, the first step The analysis of the most important value-adding business processes of the company. Depending on the size of the company and the ERP maturity, these can be determined and documented in a workshop.
Of the second step of the selection procedure consists of the Return of investment Analysis (ROI), which is intended to show the business benefit of the ERP system. This can also be carried out at other times. The analysis of the actual processes would be a possible point in time to be able to evaluate the provider process also according to the economic significance.
This can -as third step- ultimately determine and adjust the target definition for the ERP project. In this way, a decision-making basis can be formed that the company can fall back on during the selection process. In addition, this prevents "moving targets", i.e. changing goals, in the course of the project. Because these lead to a delayed course of the project and thus to costs that have not been calculated.
Step four deals with the definition of the selection-determining criteria. This involves assessing the requirements that the individual ERP systems have to meet for the company in question. For this purpose, not all requirements have to be determined, but only those that distinguish the less suitable from the suitable ERP solutions.
The essential goal in the ERP selection process is to find the right system, i.e. one that fits the company. Choosing the right provider is also an objective. It should always be noted that system providers whose offerings are based on big names such as SAP differ considerably in the industry sector.
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