“You’ve been working on this ERP project for months and all you have to present is hypothesis and conjecture?” The answer is, it’s not hypothesis and conjecture, its’ facts and the devil is in the details. Now you shift gears from the high level presentation to how you came to the conclusions (hint: it better be all about process).

Previously, we discussed pluses and minuses of each vendor and we can’t forget about the incumbent vendor. There are good reasons to look at a new software provider but there are better reasons to consider the existing vendor. Of the many reasons to change, here are just a few:

  • There are “tier 1, 2 & 3 vendors”. Your company has outgrown your existing vendor’s capabilities.
  • The vendor provides poor support, few upgrades, high maintenance fees, old technology, or simply went out of business (if acquired it depends on continued enhancement).
  • Your business model has changed dramatically since the original vendor was chosen.

So let’s expand on these ideas. Contrary to popular belief, switching vendors because your current software is “highly modified” is not a good reason. It’s modified for a reason and chances are very likely those are your unique processes that separate you from your competition. Tossing those out, going with a new vendor, and following their “best practices” could easily put your company in jeopardy. So unless the next tier up vendor you’re looking at does exactly what you want for your unique processes, moving “up to a new tier” may not be a good solution.

Poor support, few upgrades, etc, can be a matter of opinion. Be careful of individual personal preferences when comparing and examining these services. People’s emotions too often get in the way of a truly objective software review. This is where an objective 3rd party can really play an important, often times, company saving role.

Business has to change to stay competitive, efficient and successful. It’s hard to predict the future but industry experts can often assist in pointing out technology flexibility and direction. Moving from the system you have today that proved to be a dead end can easily happen again if industry and technology vision is not properly applied.

For the next set, we’ll review how to decrease the risk of another dead end product.

Clark Green

Clark brings a deep level of experience with ERP companies to KnowledgePath Consulting. He has strong leadership skills, and demonstrated success in manufacturing, supply chain, business unit, and operations performance in multiple industries.