How to Evaluate an ERP Product Demo

ERP, Management - All industries

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A product demo is one of the most important elements of selecting an ERP system.

After the provider has answered your questions, it’s time for a product demo. A product demo is a crucial element of the ERP selection process as it gives you a chance to see each ERP system in action. Demos allow you to see how the system functions and if it has the right features for your needs.

In the demo, you’re looking to find out: 

  • Does the system meet my requirements?
  • Does the system truly have the industry-specific features it’s billed to, or are workarounds required?
  • Do those features come as standard, or are there additional modules you’ll need to purchase?
  • Is the system easy to use?
  • Is the functionality easy to access and use for your staff?

Who should be present for the demo?

During the demo, it’s essential to have your selection team present, as they will know the specifics of what you are looking for and be able to evaluate the system for you. But it is also a good idea to have the rest of your staff sit in on the demo.

This will allow all of your employees to envision the possibilities of the new system and how it will improve their jobs. One of the biggest hurdles to successfully implementing an ERP system within an organization is getting your employees on board with the new system. Allowing them to see how an ERP system can help them with their tasks is an effective way to understand why an ERP is necessary — and build trust in the new system.

While it should ultimately be the selection team and management, who have the final say about which system to use, allowing others to give feedback will make everyone feel included — plus give you insights that you may have overlooked. From a political perspective, it doesn’t come across as a fait accompli that is being forced on employees without advance notification, but a process that your team is going through together.

Evaluating ERP vendors and systems

Once you have scheduled consultations with your shortlist of ERP vendors, grilled each vendor, and seen each system in action, you can start evaluating the different systems.

It’s handy to have a pre-made scoring matrix made up ahead of time that your selection team can fill out during the consultations and demos, ranking the features of each system and evaluating if the systems meet your requirements. On the scoring matrix, be sure to include a field for comments on how each vendor answered your list of questions, plus your general feelings about each team.

Evaluating the features of each system, including the usability of each system, is paramount, but it is also good to consider if the people fit too. Your ERP will be a long-term partnership — it’s vital that your teams click and that you can easily communicate with your ERP provider. Having a team of industry experts on your side will be helpful through the implementation process — and long afterward. It’s just as important to find the right group of people as it is the right system.

After you have reviewed scoring sheets and checked references, you should know which vendor you are leaning towards.

Go for it

After a few meetings with your selection team and some last-minute communications with a vendor or two, you will be ready to announce your selection. It’s a job well done, and with all the hard work you have put in during the selection process, you’re more than ready for the next steps of getting your new ERP up and running. Celebrate as you see fit, and announce the good news to the whole company.

And here’s the bonus: you have just given your company a big head start on successful ERP implementation. The next steps — kickoff, installation, implementation, and Go Live — will be met with less resistance and a lot more anticipation.

Want to see Genius ERP in action? Book a demo today.

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