There’s a big problem faced by those new to the wonderful world of ERP. For starters, it is wonderfully confusing. There’s a ton of jargon, starting (but far from ending) with ‘well WTH is ERP anyway?’ And from there, it only gets more and more complicated. That’s why Verde has introduced an advisory service which helps you understand your own needs, and then match those needs to the best software solution available on the market.
Our aim is not simply selling you one of the solutions we offer. Instead, we evaluate your needs and make recommendations for the best ERP for your business.
Our Business Requirements Scoping service is a first step. It’s an in-demand service because for many potential first timers, just figuring out if you do in fact need ERP (and are ready for it…a level of organisational maturity is crucial if an ERP implementation is to succeed) is a thorny question.
It’s thorny because it is a seriously big step to take. The fact that it is expensive and difficult is only part of it; it is also risky, and more than a few businesses have gone bust in pursuit of a better way of doing things. Yes, that’s irony for you. Choosing an ERP is a lot like choosing a spouse: it is a long-term commitment and it is going to take work.
And yes, it is stressful, too. Even with the tricky business of narrowing it down to the right solution for your needs out of the way, expect long days and nights through the implementation and bedding down phases. You’re going to be running ‘business as usual’, after all, while simultaneously running a major software project.
The obvious question then, is ‘why bother?’ Well, to massively oversimplify it, it comes down to scale. Most businesses hit a tipping point where the absence of ERP starts choking things up. Manual processes and the good old accounting package have their limits. When those limits are hit- and it is at this point that we get a lot of enquiries – you need something a bit more sophisticated.
This gives rise to a dichotomy of sorts and a decision you can make. If growth and a bigger company is what the shareholders are after (tip: this is more often the case than not!) then you are probably headed down the ERP route. If, on the other hand, you’re happy with a family-owned or small business serving a fixed or limited customer base, hey, no worries! No need for the hard yards of ERP.
All this and a lot more is what our advisory service covers. The outcome of this exercise is a full ERP Requirements document; in the industry lingo, one of the leads into an ERP purchase is ‘spec and select’. This is just what it sounds like: specifications and selection (of a suitable solution). The ERP Requirements document is, in effect, the ‘spec’ component.
It is a valuable exercise in and of itself, because as it runs it will help you clearly understand all your processes with the benefit of a third party (your friendly and experienced Verde consultant) providing best practice guidelines for how things should be done most effectively. It may come as a surprise, which is to say it often does, that the way you’re doing things does in fact leave room for improvement. And you can make that improvement without having to choose and implement ERP software.
Then of course, with your ‘spec’ document in hand, you are ready to test the market for the best ERP solution. It forms the basis for which you can put together a comprehensive and coherent Request for Information or Request for Purchase, allowing any ERP provider to respond accurately to your needs.