Choosing an ERP System – So Many Things to Think About! (Part Two)

We spoke about (in blog one of this series) choosing ERP systems and spoke about thinking through the process to get to a decision.  Some people want to rush the process.  Quick-fix thinking isn’t anything new. From the time the innovative General Hannibal implemented new technology (elephants) to enhance his ability to wage war, management theorists have recommended wave after wave of performance improvement and technology strategies to gain the competitive edge. Noble intentions drive these efforts, and each may address a part of the problem. If the goal is to symbolize to employees, customers, and shareholders that management recognizes the challenge and is doing something about it, then any of these campaigns will do the job. However, piecemeal approaches purported to be the answers to technology issues can be as dangerous as no response at all, as they can absorb resources and detract from the true needs.


This is confusing; so what does a person need think about to get started?  A few years ago Deloitte and Touch surveyed hundreds of companies who had recently purchased a new ERP system; what was unique about this survey is that D&T separated out the respondents’ criteria into first time and second time purchasers to determine if experience changed purchasing criteria.

Top Ten Criteria for Selecting Software 2nd Time 1st Time
Level of support from the solution provider 1 8
Vendor’s track record of performance 2 10
Software’s ability to fit the business 3 4
Growth potential of software 4 7
Price of the software 5 1
Quality of documentation 6 9
Functionality of the software 7 5
Ease of use 8 3
Ease of implementation of the new system 9 2
Software works with existing hardware 10 6

If you look at the second time column, (experienced purchasers) solution provider support and vendor’s track record were the top criteria while the first time purchasers had these at the bottom.  This clearly demonstrates that experienced decision makers value the partners expertise above all else while the inexperienced decision makers don’t understand how critical the partner is to the implementation.  Additionally, inexperienced purchasers put price as their top criteria yet experienced purchasers put price out of the top three criteria.  So, look for partners that have experience, understand business process and have a large stable of clients who see them as trusted advisors.  I would add software viability to this mix; make certain that the software you choose is backed by a financially sound company with a proven track record.

This last criterion is the reason KTL Solutions is a Microsoft Dynamics partner.  For mid-sized businesses, you want to be certain that you have a firm foundation in which to grow your business, and Microsoft provides this foundation. As your business evolves and grows, we partner with you to tune the engine that drives corporate productivity.  KTL Solutions and you, with a Dynamics foundation, make a smooth running machine.

So when beginning a search for a new ERP system, look for a partner who understands your business, uses sound software and has clients who see the partner as a trusted advisor.

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