Details of ERP Selection Process

By: Thomas Cutler

According to Rebecca Gill, vice-president of TGI, "Software selection consists of five individual elements or phases within a much larger, overall process. The entire process itself can span months or even up to a year, depending on the number of internal resources available for the project. Starting the software selection process with the right project plan is key to choosing and implementing the best software for your organization's individual needs."
The steps when entering into a software selection process involves a lot more than just finding a reputable software developer or reseller.
The following outline is an excerpt from the Technology Group International (TGI) Software Selection Process Steps and Timeline white paper. This document represents a general process flow which may be tailored to fit any organization's specific needs.
Software Selection Research and Planning
&bullObtain Initial Executive Support
&bullForm a Steering Committee
&bullReview Key Business Initiatives and Long Term Goals (Top Down Approach)
oInterview Corporate Executives and Senior Management
oInterview Information Technology (IT) and Operations Managers
&bullIdentify Internal and External Stakeholders
&bullClarify Objectives and Constraints
&bullPerform a High Level Needs or Requirements Analysis (Bottom Up Approach)
oEvaluate Existing System Performance
oInterview Functional Departments Managers and Key Users
&bullDevelop a Strategic Systems Plan
&bullDevelop a Detailed Project Plan
oDefine Project Structure
oDefine Project Scope
oIdentify Project Phases and Tasks
&bullPrepare a Business Case
oPrepare a Project Budget
oCalculate Potential ROI
&bullObtain Executive Level Support
oObtain Approval of Project Plan & Resources
oObtain Budget Approval
oAssign an Executive Champion
Software Supplier Selection
&bullEvaluate RFP Responses
&bullEvaluate Onsite Demonstrations
&bullReduce Short List to Two Top Suppliers
&bullConduct Reference Check on Top Two Suppliers
&bullSelect Supplier of Choice
&bullNotify Suppliers of Decision
&bullNegotiate Contract
Founded in 1990 and headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, Technology Group International (www.tgiltd.com) is a proven technology leader delivering Tier 1 application software functionality at a price performance level that can be readily accepted by wholesale distribution organizations of all sizes.

A best-of-breed ERP software solution provides the basic footprint for managing the four trends outlined and Enterprise 21 offers functionality well beyond that of the standard distribution package. Enterprise 21 provides full ERP functionality with a fully integrated e-commerce module. It is one of the few ERP systems to meet the needs of today's wholesale distribution without the need for expensive and time consuming modifications.

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