15 Great Questions to Ask an ERP Vendor

Considering the significant investment required to implement an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, the process of selecting the right vendor is not a decision to be made lightly. Qualifying potential ERP vendors by asking them constructive questions can be instrumental in helping you to determine which software solution is the best fit for your company. Remember, you can never ask an ERP vendor too many questions.

Over the next few weeks we will be compiling a list of 15 great questions to ask potential ERP vendors. Here is a look at the first five:

  1. How long has your company been around? A reputable ERP vendor with a proven track record often signifies longevity and a more evolved product. However, that doesn’t mean you should avoid considering newcomers. Just be sure to qualify vendors by asking questions about their company history, reputation and long-term goals. Vendor financials (if available) may also help reveal insight into the company’s health and stability.
  2. Are you the original author of the ERP software? If so, it means the vendor is the primary developer of the software and therefore may have more expertise and resources than a software reseller.
  3. How did your product evolve? While many ERP systems have similar capabilities and functionalities, they may have a very different history. Some ERP solutions may have started as an inventory management or materials planning system while others evolved from an accounting system. Recognizing how an ERP system started out and evolved over time can help you uncover potential strengths and weaknesses in the product.
  4. What experience do you have working with companies or industries similar to mine? This is fundamental because the needs of an ERP system can vary significantly from company to company and industry to industry. Choosing a supplier that has direct experience in your industry or with similar businesses means it already has an understanding of the various complexities and challenges you face. It may even be able to predict and solve needs you didn’t realize you had.
  5. What sets you apart from your competitors? This is your opportunity to find out what each vendor claims its strengths are. Compare those to your company’s priorities and you’ll have a better idea of whether or not it’s a good fit for your business.

Click here for the next installment of important questions to ask your ERP vendor.

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