What should I do before talking to an ERP vendor?

What should I do before talking to an ERP vendor?As a CXO you are faced with many challenges and your challenges are doubled if you are heading a first growing firm in the 10-200 million dollar revenue space. One of your major challenges/tasks is to standardize and automate your back office processes. You can then concentrate on the next stage of your enterprise’s growth. Implementing ERP in itself is a huge capital overlay which combined with the intricacies of change and implementation management makes it a production hell for firms in the SMB space. Therefore, you must know what you to do before talking to an ERP vendor.

What should I do before talking to an ERP vendor?

As a fast-growing enterprise who recently implemented ERP for ourselves, we here at Kaar Tech are excited in putting forth this blog which can help you make a decision on what you should do before talking to Product OEM and solution vendors.

Why ERP?

This is the first query a CXO must ask themselves. Why do I need a new Enterprise resource planning system and what business objective is it going to fulfill? Some examples might include:

  • Growth Goals: Will the ERP help me achieve my target revenue?
  • Efficiency Goals: Will my ERP help me reduce costs by automating and standardizing processes?

These goals once identified can be incorporated into payment and project milestones. These goals can be identified through the creation of Business objectives.

How do you create Business Objectives?

At Kaar we followed the process of internal stakeholder engagement model. The process was as follows:

  • Each department shared it’s major pain points.
  • The pain points were then converted into a business objective statement by the heads of the respective departments. For example, the finance department’s pain point has delayed the closing of books. This pain point was converted into the following business objective: “Complete book closure by 3rd of the next month” by the CFO
  • By repeating the above exercise with the HR, Admin, Delivery and sales teams we came up with a comprehensive set of business objectives which were then incorporated into our project milestone planning.

Although there are many methods to create the needed business objectives, we felt engaging the end user at the pre-implementation stage would provide the fastest route to ERP implementation success.

Identifying Project stakeholders

Once the business objectives are in place it is important to choose the stakeholders who will be directly responsible for the project. In Kaar Tech’s case, a co-founder took over this mantle and saw the project through. Based on our experience of working on 50+ implementation projects the projects which achieved most of its business objectives were those which either had the CEO or a senior management team member heading the project.

Documenting processes

In order to save time during implementation, it is always better to document all of your business processes. This is useful especially when you are looking a Cloud ERP offering which has limited customization capability. This documentation will allow you to immediately ascertain whether your processes can be replicated in the system. If not, then hard decisions have to be made as to whether you want to keep the current processes.

Budget time and money

All the above activities are for naught if as a CXO, you do not take a look at the budgets. Here budget just doesn’t mean the capital which you will set aside for the project but also your time. By my experience, Projects fail in 70% of the cases not because of lack of budget but rather because of lack of time allocated by the CXOs to engage in change management and process change approvals. So it is important that before you start talking to ERP vendor you are clear on your how much capital you are ready to outlay and how much time you are willing to spend for the ERP implementation

 

This post explained what a firm should do before talking to a cloud ERP vendor. But in case you have any queries I am always ready for a call. You can email me at salphonse@kaartech.com or fill this simple contact form.

Kaar Technologies

 

Alphonse Raj David

Related Posts
Leave a reply
Captcha Click on image to update the captcha .