What criteria should be used to select an ERP software vendor?
When choosing an ERP system, the ERP software vendor must be taken into account. A vendor should not just sell software that meets your business’s requirements. It must be a partner, not a predator.
In a recent whitepaper, ERP Vendor Selection: Find a Partner, Not a Predator, analyst Brian Sommer says making a wise ERP decision includes completing a “cultural assessment.” He writes:
“Great cultures can be found in yogurt, acidophilus milk and some firms. Unfortunately, great cultures don’t always exist in technology firms that you’ve come to rely upon. And, if you do business with a technology firm with a bad culture, it could be a very expensive, frustrating, long-term decision. Can your organization afford being stuck with a bad choice for a decade or more?”
The answer to that last question, for any business, is obviously “no.” So, choosing a trustworthy ERP vendor is extremely necessary to success.
To help distinguish between a partner and a predator, Brian provides defining factors of a predator.
- They cannot exist without prey.
- They are short-term focused.
- They want a relationship with your wallet, not with your company.
- They use confusing, ambiguous wording and ask you to sign “voluminous” contracts.
- They change their prices often.
- They aggressively audit customers’ use of the ERP system.
If you do happen to choose the wrong vendor, Brian says it’s critical to accept that you made a poor decision and move on to a better option. As he puts it: “Vendors with a selfish, greedy culture will create lots of work for you, are hard to deal with and tend to overreach at every opportunity to empty your corporate bank account.” Don’t try to make the best of a bad situation, because it will just continue to worsen.
You need a true partner, not a leech in vendor’s clothing.