Only when it comes to an ERP selction, the SMEs are made clowns. Company A will sell the software, collect their money (some vendors, including 1 year AMC in advance) and disappear. Now, Company B will ask what do you want and later will say I will charge for:
- To make the available features work for you. (Consulting, Training and Implementation)
- To add the features (both Must to Have and Nice to have) missing that you need (Customisation)
Having paid for the software, the SMEs have no choice other than to pay & wait or will not be in a position to put the product in use.
The faulty assumption of the SMEs is that if it is a well-known software, working in several businesses then surely will have all the features that I am looking for..
Having said this, I am not finding this as the software vendor’s problem. This is more of a problem with SMEs.
I will narrate this with some examples.
When we buy a car, do we have to do something extra or wait for 20 days after payment to drive the car. All we have do is just drive it to the petrol pump,right. So the car has all Must to have features. You may still do some extra fittings like tinted glass, music system, extra bumper guard etc., they are all nice to Have features.
What about our New big Flat TV at home. Connect it to the Power and Internet (Must to Have) and it is done. You can choose to keep it on the front room showcase or mount it on the wall (Nice to have).
Coming to the point of evaluation of a product or a service, as I said before, there are Must to Have and Nice to Have features. After-all ERP solutions are around here for more than 35 years now. The SMEs at the ERP selection stage, need to ask these questions to the ERP vendor, immaterial how big they are…
- Do you know what we want?
- Do you have all in your software?
- Have you done it to anyone who is using it for the past 4-5 years?
- Can we have their details?
- Can you show us a Proof of Concept (POC)?
SMEs need to spend time on POC, just for 3 days to make sure that all the inputs and reports are part of the standard product.
If the ‘Must to have’ features are not in the software, now the SMEs to know what to do… look for the next one, instead of making a sad-clown out of yourself.
So ERP selection can make or break the Enterprise.