We’ve previously discussed the importance of finding an ERP vendor who can meet all your functionality requirements, and the difference between custom software vs. out-of-the box software, but there are other important factors to consider. Functionality and cost should not be the only criteria on which you evaluate vendors, given that the software market is somewhat saturated with similar product offerings.
Listed below are some other important factors to use when evaluating ERP vendors. The full list can be found by downloading our eBook: 6 Factors to Consider When Evaluating ERP Vendors.
One of the best ways to get an accurate picture of how a vendor treats its customers after making the sale is, logically enough, by speaking with current customers. Try to speak with multiple references in your industry or those who have similar business processes, and perform background research on the vendor's implementation history.
Sales processes often vary significantly from one vendor to the next, but some red flags can be raised during the process. Do they truly understand your business needs? Have they been rushing you to a demo without adequate preliminary discussions to find out your needs? Purchasing software is a large investment and should be treated as such. It is not a decision that should be made hastily.
Support can sometimes be the deciding factor when it comes to choosing between vendors. Some vendors may provide 24-hour support and international support in multiple languages where others may not. However, larger businesses with 24-hour support often outsource this process, decreasing personalization. Weigh the pros and cons of personalized support vs 24-hour support.
ERP software costs should be somewhat similar across comparable vendors. If one system seems to be significantly less expensive than the rest, further information should be gathered to determine why this is. Are similar components included? Are some costs hidden in the fine print? Is the implementation and training process less thorough or more restrictive? Watch for deceptive tactics sometimes employed to close a sale — often through low-balling or providing inaccurate cost information.
Make sure you always follow your gut as well when evaluating vendors and their sales reps, and remember to consider factors other than functionality. To learn more, download our free eBook on 6 Factors to Consider When Evaluating ERP Vendors.