Looking For ERP Software Assessment Info?

By: Steven Ross

A consultant on ERP implementation has defined some of the important points that a manager or owner looking at ERP's should consider. He states that while some of his corporate clients have made some great decisions in choosing an ERP, others have fallen victim to the various pitfalls that can derail their projects and waste their investment. ERP software assessment can be complicated. In order to understand ERP developers' sales tactics, an owner or manager must first consider the economics of scale that drive many of these companies. The really big developers have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to develop ERP applications. For these developers, the cost of burning a copy of the software is negligible, so any purchase of an out of the box installation of their products is one hundred percent total profit.

With that profit motivation in mind, some ERP vendors will go to extremes in order to court new customers. Their strategies will often include flying interested potential clients to the vendor site, transporting them in stretch limos, and offering luxury hotels and gourmet meals; all as a part of the sales pitch on the merits of their ERP product.

The consultant tells a story about a vendor who once brought him an entire box of Cuban cigars, asking him to deliver them to a potential client. When the vendor was told that the client did not smoke, he insisted that the consultant keep the cigars. As an industry consultant, he has received offers to fly to vendor sites (first class, of course, and at no cost to him) just so that the companies could show me their latest offerings.

At the first level, all ERP products serve identical functions in managing business function. In order to make a sale, ERP vendors absolutely have to establish some visible difference between their product and many products available from the competition. It is sad but true - many ERP vendors will make what "are over the top" claims about the effectiveness of their products. Some software vendors offer million dollar guarantees if their software does not perform at least two times faster than that of the competition, and other vendors tout the sturdy function of their product and ease of use.

On top of the software licenses, many ERP vendors will try to sell add on consulting and / or technical support. A final sales quote may well bundle several thousand hours of programming and consulting services. It is very important to remember that vendors commonly charge a premium price for simple consulting services and that businesses may find that implementing the product can be accomplished for much less. For example, there are many portal opportunities in India that offer the service. A business may also find cheaper documentation and training on the open market.

Enterprise Information Systems
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