I am looking at a request for proposal (RFP) that was sent to me. This company is looking to implement a new ERP system to replace a variety of independent software (and Excel).
The RFP document goes through a lot of specifications and features they are looking at but they spend very little time telling me their story. What problem are we solving? What does success look like? How will we know we have been successful when we are finished?
Focus on Your Processes, not features
Your business functions based on processes, not features. To make a successful software selection using an RFP you are better off focusing more on your processes than the features. Every ERP system does the basics: Can it track vendors? Can it track customers? Can it print a cheque?
To make a successful software selection using an RFP you are better off focusing more on your processes than the features.
If the ERP software can’t do these things, then someone is in the wrong room.
If you really want to make a successful ERP software selection you should focus on the processes you need the ERP software to help you with. What processes support your business’ value-add or unique value proposition?
Document Your Processes
Have you documented what your current processes are? What do you want them to look like once the new software is in place? What are you willing to change?
This RFP process seems to be focused a lot on using new ERP software to keep doing what they are doing. “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.” If you want to continue achieving the same results this approach works.
Be Prepared for the Unknown
But, what happens if your industry pivots? What happens if your business has to pivot? Is this selection process going to help choose software that will support you as you make that pivot?