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Read This Before You Sign on the Dotted Line! 20 Questions to Ask When Buying ERP Software.

Forest of trees with question marks painted on

Written by Laura Schomaker

January 24, 2023

Buying a new ERP system is a big decision. Choose the right one and your productivity, customer service and efficiency can all soar to new heights. Choose the wrong one and each of these will suffer. How do you know you’re making the right choice? Focus your attention on these 20 questions to ask when buying ERP software and you’ll be off to a great start!

With so much at stake, you must take the time to collect key information on the vendors you are considering. Only then can you fairly compare them against each other.

Every company’s needs are unique. But no matter what industry you’re in or how big your business is, there are certain questions to ask about any ERP systems you’re considering during the discovery process.

20 ERP discovery questions our experts recommend

ERP questions to ask vendors:

  1. Does the vendor understand the regulations that affect my company? How will the ERP handle these regulations?
  2. Is the ERP regularly updated to respond to changes in regulations and the pain points they cause that affect my industry?
  3. How experienced is the ERP consultant with working with businesses like yours (in size, industry and the types of products or services you offer)?
  4. What types of ongoing support does the vendor offer? Is local, on-site service available, or will they have to do everything remotely? Keep in mind what internal support resources you have. Will you be relying on your vendor and/or implementation partner to support your ERP anytime there is an issue)?
  5. How long has the vendor been in business? Do they have a long-term plan for the product?
  6. Is the vendor’s business a financially healthy one?
  7. What kind of ROI claims does the vendor make? Do they have a track record of meeting those standards?
  8. For businesses operating in multiple countries, can the vendor’s ERP solutions support companies with foreign operations? And are they knowledgeable about working in the specific countries in which your company works?
  9. Can the vendors ERP system integrate with your other critical software systems? Do they or their partners already have integrations, or do you require something new to be built for your specific needs?
  10. How often does the vendor update its ERP software? How are those updates delivered?
  11. If part of your team works remotely or you plan on allowing them to do so soon, does the ERP offer easy-to-use, reliable cloud-based access on a range of devices?
  12. Does the ERP vendor offer the features I need to support my growth plans?
  13. How will adding the additional users and/or features you think you may need down the road affect your ERP price?
  14. What is the vendor’s customer satisfaction record like? (To answer this question, it’s helpful to look at online reviews and get references from the ERP vendor, preferably from companies like yours. Ask them, “do they enjoy working with the vendor?” “Are they happy with the service they receive?”

ERP implementation questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do I need to hire a third-party implementation partner to help with ERP project management? (For most small and medium-size businesses the answer to this question is almost always yes. The only time this might not be is if you have a large internal IT team and they have significant ERP software experience).
  2. Can I afford a new ERP system? Not only the initial implementation, but also the future upgrades and additions I may need?
  3. Will my new ERP system need to integrate with any of my other existing software? What exactly do I need from these integrations?
  4. Do I have the internal resources to handle my ERP updates on my own, or will I need outside help? (Important note: if you require help with your ERP upgrades, your budget should include the cost for this).
  5. How much of my staff works remotely or may do so in the next few years?
  6. Where do I see my business in the next few years? Do I plan on adding additional staff? Do I plan on adding any new product/service lines? What capabilities will I need from my ERP system to support these growth plans?

What’s next?

We hope this list of questions to ask when buying ERP software will get you and your fellow decision makers one step closer to a shortlist of software solutions that are a good fit for your business.

Remember, successful ERP projects require doing a bit of homework upfront. But, when it’s finally implemented and you’re happy with the results, you’ll be glad you took your time with the research process.

If you haven’t yet made your short list of ERP vendors to whom you plan to ask these questions, look at this Info-Tech report for a high-level comparison of the top 22 vendors across a variety of key areas.

Want more expert tips like this? Based on our nearly 30 years’ experience in the industry, we have a variety of eBooks on the ERP selection process.

Prefer hands-on help to find your ERP software? Schedule a discovery call with one of our experts to discuss your needs and goals.

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