Developing an effective ERP RFP
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Developing an effective ERP RFP

An ERP request for Proposal (RFP), while it is not required, is a great tool to use in your ERP selection process. Many times companies will come up with an RFP that speaks only slightly to the company’s needs using a standard template which will limit your ability to really tell your potential ERP system and vendor what exactly you are looking for and the requirements specific to your organization. It is important to develop a RFP that is specific, clear, and relevant to your business needs. When developing your ERP RFP be sure to include the following:

Developing an RFP is NEVER fun and it is not a requirement prior to selection but it can be greatly beneficial to the overall project. Some of the benefits you will get from going through this tedious development process include:

  • Providing your ERP selection team a better focus.
  • Giving your potential ERP vendor a specific idea of your goals and expectations.
  • Provides focus and direction in a complicated process.
  • Protection of the organization s interests and investment.
  • Established general and specific expectations, needs, and wants.
  • Preparation internally before finalizing the deal.
  • It is a good way to get a fair and accurate comparison of products/vendors.
  • It is a proven way to help make a better choice about your ERP software.
  • And more.

Knowing what to include in your ERP RFP can make a world of difference. Here are a few things we suggest you include to ensure you are investing in an ERP solution that will give you your desired results:

  1. Gather vendor information such as:
    1. Contacts.
    2. Address.
    3. Contact info- phone numbers and emails
    4. Company websites and blogs.
    5. How long have they been in business?
    6. Important partnerships.
    7. Etc.
    8. What does the vendor offer?
      1. Software and products offered.

i. Solutions written by the vendor.

ii. Products they resell.

  1. Services they provide.

i. Support.

ii. User Training.

iii. IT training.

iv. Coding.

v. Customization.

  1. Warranties, upgrade plans.
  2. Information about the business relationship.
    1. Financing options and availability
    2. Preferred financial terms.
    3. Licensing models.
    4. Will support and software come from single vendor or multiple?
    5. Contracts and agreements- samples for review.
    6. Solution the vendor is proposing.
      1. Name and description of solution.
      2. Number of installed customers.
      3. Proven ROI expectations and examples from other customers.
      4. Product roadmap.
      5. Upgrade plans.
      6. Available demo options.
      7. Customer referral information.
        1. Contact information.
        2. Industry and business information.
        3. Solutions provided to the customer.
        4. Expected costs.
          1. Software

i. Can modules be licensed separately?

ii. What are the separate costs of the modules?

  1. Support.
  2. Training.
  3. Other services.
  4. Costs expected for travel and consulting before, during, and after implementation.
  5. What do you want the solution to address?
    1. How can this solution address them?
    2. What technical capabilities do you want/need in the system?
      1. Consider a yes/no checklist.
      2. Be sure to include which features are important, helpful, essential, want, need, etc.
      3. Technical requirements.
        1. Operating system for server and desktop computers.
        2. Hardware platform.
        3. Integration needs.
        4. Databases.
        5. Third-party solutions.
        6. Implementation process.
          1. Ask the vendor to describe typical needs assessment and implementation processes.
          2. Who performs implementation?
          3. What disruptions can be expected?
          4. Time frame for implementation.
          5. Testing and validation of functionality process?
          6. How do they handle problems and issues that arise during implementation?
          7. How should the vendor respond to your ERP RFP?
            1. Should they respond via email, phone, CD, DVD, hardcopy, etc?
            2. Contact name- who should receive completed RFP?
            3. Ask for information regarding who you should call if you have additional questions for the vendor.
            4. Give them an expected return date for the ERP RFP.

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