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Kuidas valida ERP-tarkvara partnerit?

The choice of ERP or enterprise resource management software and its implementation partner is becoming increasingly difficult today. There are a lot of different software on the market and even more companies that allow entrepreneurs to bring wealth into the house and bring happiness to the yard. How would it make sense to behave in such a situation and decide what to do, says Columbus Estonian Sales Director Hannes Rosenberg.

Pikka aega on tootmisprotsesside jätkamiseks piisanud ka käsitsi teostatavatest protsessidest ja vähesest reaalajas teabest, kuid nüüd on saamas järjest selgemaks, et tootmisettevõtted peavad konkureerimiseks end kohandama või nad riskivad mahajäämisega.

A clear understanding of the benefits

First of all, the company should definitely think about why new software is needed. Too often, the age, slowness, or functional backlog of the software used so far is the rationale behind it, without analyzing whether and how one or the other results of the business will still be affected. It is necessary to find arguments for the evaluations that will improve in the software exchange and at the expense of introducing new software. It is unlikely that the approval will justify the ERP project, which is based solely on the better appearance of the new software or on the addition of some marginal features. At the same time, however, the argument that a modern company has to offer modern tools and communication channels cannot be excluded as well, in order to be attractive to both its customers and the labor market.

Precise focus saves time and money

Often, the planning stage of the whole company takes the entire scope of the company in its detailed depth from the main processes to the last support function, and starts burning the eyes of all its desires, but when the offer comes from the supplier, the surprise is great - the price is significantly higher than planned. At this point, the software implementation partner must, based on his experience, recommend that certain requirements for putting on hold be realized only after being accustomed to working with the new software. If the requirements are then reviewed at a new glance, at least half of them will be left out of the order later. 

This is due to the simple fact that your work is accustomed to doing in a certain way, and that habits are also being brought into the new system. Here the software partner's task is to screen out the functionalities that are commercially critical and definitely necessary to get started. Such an approach will help you to deploy the software faster and will also significantly reduce your investment volume.

Map your needs as accurately as possible

Once these points are conceived, they are already in a good condition to continue looking for ERP software. Typically, different comparative bids for software deployment are desired. The goal is good, but the question that arises during the procurement is: on what basis to evaluate the available tenders? Often short meetings are held with the tenderers, and on this basis each bidder sends its vision of the project and the price. How do you make them comparable? Therefore, we recommend that you consider aggregating your business requirements into a single, detailed list that gives bidders the opportunity to assess the complexity and volume of each claim separately. If you are looking for ERP software on ready-made platforms, it is often an important factor how many requirements are covered by your chosen platform in your standard functionality and how much you need to program.

On the basis of such a list of claims it is possible to evaluate the different offers significantly more precisely. Creating a list of these requirements is an extensive work and could be outsourced to either a business consulting company or an ERP software deployment company. Before, we recommend that companies ask for some references to the same work and, among other things, to examine whether the previous clients were satisfied with the work.

Listen to all the bidders

If your bids are in hand, you should definitely meet all or some of the number of bidders. It is reasonable to ask the software provider to meet the salespersons, as well as the professionals who are involved with the implementation of the software, and ask as many detailed questions as possible. It gives a very good picture of the software provider's background, skills and communication. These are some of the most important features of a software specialist who will start implementing software in the company. As the implementation process lasts for a while, it is extremely important that there is a person on the other side of the table who is trusted by his experience and with whom it is pleasant to cooperate. If people do not match each other from the start, then the implementation project goes over the stumps.

The company's digital development as a continuous systematic activity

Last but not least, today, we will reach the most important thing - does the company have its own vision and plan for digital development? Do you know in what order and what you need to do to digitize your business processes and thereby ensure that your business operates successfully in a changing environment?

It is likely that business processes, concerns, ways of data transfer, etc. will need to be reviewed before starting the ERP software exchange. As a result of this work, it turns out that you should first carry out LEAN training, for example, with a change in work organization or start with finding a good sales software and then start thinking about ERP. In other words, before starting an ERP project, we recommend that you first look at a circle of business consultants and find a partner with whom to start thinking and creating a comprehensive vision of the company's digitalisation.

Good digital vision!
The story has also been published in the digitalization theme of industrialization.ee .

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Meie ees seisab paradigma muutus, kuidas ettevõtted kasutavad majandustarkvara ehk ERPi. Majandustarkvarad, mida läbi aastate on iseloomustanud väsitavad uuendused ja kulukad seadistamised, asendatakse peatselt pilvepõhiste lahendustega.
PTähtis päev on lõpuks kätte jõudnud, selle päevani on viinud kuudepikkune tegusid ja ootust täis aeg – on aeg käivitamiseks! See on ka teie ERP projekti kõige ärevam ja pingelisem periood, kuigi on teatud samme, mida astudes võite leevendada riske ja stressi, mida see periood kaasa toob. Kõige olulisem on planeerida, planeerida, planeerida ja jälle planeerida. Edukal ERP käiku laskmise päeval on edu saladuseks hästi kujundatud rakenduskava.
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