Once you have the list of main processes and the workflows that describe your business processes, you 're off to a very good start. Given a basic grasp of the different functional requirements for your ERP software, you can begin to evaluate ERP software vendors and put together a shortlist of products for further in-depth analysis.
Important steps involved in this phase include the following:
• gathering and prioritizing requirements
• transforming requirements into a decision model
• publishing your request for information (RFI)
• collecting RFI responses
• performing preliminary qualifications, resulting in a working list of ERP vendors
• validating and analyzing RFI responses
• creating a ranked short list of ERP vendors
Creating Your ERP RFI/Request for Proposal (RFP)
The basis for any enterprise software purchasing decision is the criteria used to define the needs of a company, depending on its specific characteristics. The most widely used tool for this is an RFI, which is a way to enquire about a vendor and its offering. Some software vendors and companies that provide software selection services offer more or less detailed RFI templates. These templates are usually pre-defined, depending on the industry and the type of software required. You can use one of these templates as a good starting point because it will reduce the time it takes for you to discover the functionality available by a particular type of software. Whether you use a template or not, it 's a good idea to customize and organize the functional requirements so that software vendors respond to your unique needs.
Small businesses looking for a software solution can create their own hierarchy of criteria. This can be done internally or with the help of ...
... middle of paper ...
... a shortlist of vendors that best fit your company 's needs. To make sure you get the most relevant shortlist, RFIs/RFPs and DSSes are the most important tools; the other resources mentioned above should only be used as a complement to these tools.
Final Thoughts: Avoiding "Analysis Paralysis"
According to decision theory, the paradox of choice states that the more choices you have, the more likely you are to make a poor decision or fail to make a decision. Gathering information and comparing different products and solutions is essential when selecting business software, but make sure you don 't drown in unnecessary data, which will make the decision process more difficult.
The third and final part of this series will describe the steps involved in the selection process. In this final phase, you will learn what to do with your shortlist of ERP vendors and products.
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