7 questions agencies should ask their ERP provider
The most crucial step which can decide the success or failure of your implementation, is choosing the vendor that is right for you. In their search for vendors, many agencies are lead astray by flashy advertising or cannot find the solution they were looking for. Or when they do find the right solution, they cannot fully utilize its potential.
You should find a vendor that understands and fulfills your requirements, offers compatible work ethos, and the most important of all – is willing to answer all your queries.
Here is a list of essential questions that you should ask the Platform vendor to ensure that they are the chosen ones for your agency:
- What is the history of your company and your ERP software?
The first step should always be to know your ERP vendor. How long have they been in the business, what kind of ERP solutions they have deployed over the course of time, what are their strong suits and what is their track record?
But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider new vendors at all. There are certain parameters based on which you can judge newcomers and decide whether they will be the right choice for you.
- What is the cost of your ERP solution?
Since pricing structure varies among different vendors, it is always wise to ask upfront for the cost of ERP deployment. Most vendors provide Software on two bases: license-based and subscription-based; and you can choose between the two after considering your needs.
- How much time would it take for my system to go live?
An ERP vendor should be able to furnish a project plan along with a specific timeframe according to which your solution will be deployed. Transitioning from your old system to a new ERP can cause occasional disruptions, and it helps to have a reasonable estimate of when your system will be back to running smoothly. Keeping a tab on the timely progress of the deployment can help you in keeping a check on the cost over-runs.
- What is your uptime guarantee?
No system or solution can ever be absolutely foolproof. There will always be non-zero chances of things going wrong and when that happens, your vendor should be accepting accountability for it. A certain guarantee time-period should be specified in the Service Level Agreement that you sign, along with specified steps that a vendor is obligated to take to comply with the promised terms and conditions.
- How often will you upgrade your software and how much would it cost?
After a significant amount of cost investment spent in purchasing an ERP solution, often it comes out as a daunting task to pay for continuous upgrades. New upgrades in a software show the commitment of vendor towards providing a better and constantly improved service.
You should enquire about the frequency and extensiveness of their upgrades along with the cost involved, so that you can be able to decide when to upgrade your system in the future and what would be the additional budget requirement for it.
- What kind of training is needed and how will you provide it?
As the new system is deployed, it becomes imperative to ensure that your employees know how to use it and how to get the best out of the data insights the new system provides. A seasoned vendor should have skilled personnel with a comprehensive training plan to help your users know their system as the implementation takes place.
- Do you have a support system? How does it work?
Your users will certainly have a lot of queries once they start working with a new system, and it becomes essential to know whether your vendor has a team of dedicated support team who are available whenever needed.
These are only a handful of the questions whose answers you’d be needing from your vendor. Remember, ERP deployment is a cost-significant investment and no number of questions you ask can be too many.
Keep yourself informed, always have a set of quantifiable information regarding the cost, effort and time invested during the whole process, and the whole transitional process from your old system to a powerful ERP will be a breeze.
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