The Buyer’s Corner: A Case Study on Managing ERP Demonstrations

Updated: January 13, 2011

By Jonathan Gross
Vice President and Corporate Counsel, Pemeco
www.pemeco.com

Three Key Elements of a Successful ERP Demonstrations Phase

Our client overcame this key obstacle by focussing on three critical elements: people, preparation and evaluation.

  1. People. Our client formed a selection team that included executives and key representatives from all functional departments. Each representative was responsible for defining and evaluating the ERP alternatives from the perspective of their respective departments.
  2. Preparation. Our client drafted very specific demonstration scripts that each vendor was required to follow. The scripts defined a typical order-to-cash scenario. The scripts also included scenarios intended to simulate the business processes that are key to our client's operations. Our client even provided the vendors with sample parts specifications, pricing lists, BOMs, suppliers and customers to be used as the raw data. By defining realistic and detailed scenarios, our client was able to evaluate how well each system handled its critical business processes.
  3. Evaluation. Our client made evaluation a team affair. First, it resolved certain logistical issues caused by the distributed nature of its team. It used a combination of web and video conferencing so that 15 people in three states and two time-zones could participate in the demonstrations in real-time. Then, it made effective use of meetings to evaluate the alternatives. Each team member was required to provide his or her views on which of solutions would be the right fit for his or her department.

By employing a methodology based on people, preparation and evaluation, our client managed a successful ERP demonstrations phase. Though the client found the right-fit system, this result isn't what made the phase a success. Arguably, the phase would have also been a success had the client determined that none of the solutions would be a good fit. Rather, the demonstrations phase was a success because our client put itself in a position to perform meaningful due diligence that related the software's capabilities to its business needs.

Your REQs (Relevant Experiences and Questions)

  • What tips can you offer from your demonstrations phase?
  • What measures were taken to ensure that selection team members provided meaningful contributions?
  • What was good / less good about your demonstration scripts?
Featured Research
  • Making a Business Case for ERP

    Are you in the market for an ERP solution but hesitant to purchase due to the potential financial risks associated with implementing such a tool? While costs may seem prohibitive, and make it difficult to get stakeholders on board, an ERP system can add SIGNIFICANT value to your organization, regardless of what industry you are in. more

  • CIO eGuide

    Data is becoming increasingly important in business. As a result, more and more organizations are becoming attractive targets for hackers. Data breaches caused by stolen credentials are on the rise. You need smarter tools to protect your organization against the monetary and reputational damage caused by a data breach. This guide will explain how Okta Adaptive Multifactor Authentication (MFA) provides the security that IT needs, while also providing the simplicity end users want. more

  • Building Secure Multifactor Authentication

    As threats to password security have increased in recent years, multi-factor authentication (MFA) has rapidly gained adoption as a method for increasing the assurance of authentication for consumer and enterprise web and mobile applications. more

  • Moving Beyond User Name & Password

    Typical web applications are protected with single-factor authentication: a user name and password. These credentials, in addition to being difficult to manage, leave sensitive data and applications vulnerable to a variety of common attacks. As enterprises adopt more cloud applications, addressing this threat will become critical. Unlike older on-premises applications, cloud applications are accessible to anyone on the public Internet. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is designed to protect against the range of attacks that rely on stealing user credentials. more

  • ERP in Higher Education

    ERP systems can greatly increase the efficiency of managing colleges, universities, and other educational facilities. GIven the advantages, it’s not surprising that many of the top educational institutions in the world are adopting ERP systems. That doesn’t make it right for everybody, though. There are cons to using ERP in education as well. more