Create a requirement specification!
A requirement specification helps all those involved in software selection to develop an understanding of the requirements for the virtual office building. Important: A request concert can quickly become expensive. Pool, sauna and fitness room are great features for the dream house, but are these expensive features also used? Is a large car park, ergonomic workplaces and flexible room layout not better? These thoughts about the necessary properties should be at the very beginning. Independent experts for enterprise software often offer workshops in which a solid set of specifications is developed together, unless you have the time or the know-how to do so.
Request for Information (RFI / R4I)
Another way to approach the topic is a request for information. The company creates a “public” call for manufacturers and suppliers with a simple questionnaire that clarifies the first key questions: features, licensing model and project procedure. The “Suche-ERP. de”-platform, an offer of the ERP-Heroes, offers such an RFI. The special: The interested party has the choice between a whitebox and a black box procedure. After a free initial meeting with the experts of the ERP heroes, they prepare a request and send it to your ERP partners. At the customer’s request, this can also be done anonymously (black box procedure). That means: ERP Hero partners apply to the prospective customer with all information. The customer decides whether to contact the provider. In the Whitebox process, the service providers approach the customer directly. The entire service is free of charge for interested parties.
Go playing in the sandbox!
If you have already informed yourself on the market and have compiled a TOP 3 supplier list, you can ask these suppliers for a free sandbox. A sandbox is called an installation that serves as a sandbox for playing. Manufacturers of native cloud solutions can often guarantee this more easily than OnPremise solutions. But they can also offer demo software via SaaS (Service As A Service). With this sandbox you get a first impression of the program. But: ERP software is one of the software solutions that needs to be explained: without training, you quickly reach your limits. There may be a tutorial or test video of the software on YouTube, for example from the IT-Boy. This makes it easy to get started with the software and frustration, if the first steps do not work out as well as you would like, is largely avoided.
Invite to a product presentation related to the product specifications!
It becomes more concrete in a product presentation based on the specifications. With an appropriate requirement specification for preparation, the software provider can optimally adjust to the presentation and show you what you want to see. The advantage: Functions of the software that are not relevant to you are left out for the moment and do not confuse. The view remains focused on the essentials. Depending on the amount of the project, providers are willing to offer this presentation free of charge. The more personalized the appointment is, the more time it takes to prepare. Therefore, it will occasionally happen that a small expense allowance is desired. This varies from case to case. Large projects already offer a flat fee for the service providers invited to present their services at the tendering stage.
If you are on the verge of making a decision and want to clear out the last uncertainties, the ERP heroes recommend an evaluation workshop. The idea behind this appointment: Experts of the software, mostly consultants, build a small installation together with the company’s key users, which comes as close as possible to a later operating scenario. Critical processes and important workflows are then simulated in the system. In this way, the expert’s advice can be used to ensure that any missing functions will not lead to additional effort during the subsequent implementation. These workshops are usually free of charge. However, the effort is worthwhile. Additional high level of customization programming during implementation can thus be avoided with comparatively little money.
Enterprise software is not a car, enterprise software is the foundation for business processes and thus a decision for the success of a company.