Once you’ve gotten to the ERP demo portion of selecting, you may think it is time to just sit back and watch the show. However, the complete opposite is true. This is when you need to be paying attention, taking notes and preparing. Yes, you can actually prepare for an ERP demo. Below are all the steps you need to take before, during and after an ERP demo.
Make a List
You should already have made a plan for all the ERP needs you have. You should have a must-have list, all the features that must be there for the ERP to be worth your time. In addition to a must-have list, add a wants list. These are features that would be nice to have, but may not be absolutely necessary. As you’re watching the demonstrations, check off all the items that are featured.
Every vendor, whether they are selling ERP software or basic business software, has a set demo that they present every time. In these demos, the best features of the software are brought up and highlighted, while the not-so-great areas are hidden. Since you already know what features you want and need, request for these areas to be shown during the demo. Make the vendor go off-script. This will help you to see which software will work best when put in a situation similar to yours.
Most businesses will have other software systems that they will want to hook up to their ERP system. Ask the vendor to create a plan and show you how they can integrate your current system to the ERP. If it doesn’t seem that easy, you may be in for a bumpy ride if you choose that ERP system.
Rate the Systems
If you’re planning to see multiple ERP demos (which you should), then a couple weeks down the road you’ll find that you either don’t remember much or that everything has become muddled. Which ERP system offered a business intelligence solution? Which one had a simple integration to our alerts system? Create a report card for all the features that you find are most important to your business and rate the ERP demos as they occur. Tally up everyone’s card and the highest scoring demo may be the one you should go with.
Although it is tempting to simply relax during these presentations, or possibly even zone out, this is when you need to be the most attentive. By preparing and having a report card that you need to be engaged in, you will find that you are able to pay more attention and make the right decision.
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