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How to choose the right ERP vendor – and reseller – for you

The enterprise resource planning (ERP) market can be confusing. If you're considering a new ERP system for your business, choosing the right vendor - and also the right reseller - is vital.

When choosing an ERP vendor, your management team will want to be confident of having chosen a reliable product that comes with a future development roadmap and an upgrade path. Factors to consider include the vendor’s market share, how many companies rely on the solution and the vendor’s investment in research and development; to ensure the software remains suitable for the changing business environment.

Talking to existing users can be helpful in discovering more about the vendor. This can provide a real insight into how the software can make a business more productive, and whether the system under consideration will be dependable and able to withstand the daily demands placed upon it.

If vendors offer their solution through a reseller, businesses may initially feel frustrated at having to deal with a ‘middle man,’ but many vendors use resellers because there are advantages to the end users.

These include: 1 The reseller may have a local presence and more closely match the scale of the customer’s business 2 Customers may experience the same issues as other users, bringing ‘critical mass’ to requests for change 3 The customer has more leverage with the vendor as the reseller will know the correct escalation channel within the vendor organisation 4 If the customer is not satisfied with the support being delivered, they can switch their service contract to another provider

When it comes to the right partner, businesses should consider their choices carefully. The wrong reseller can make the best software fail, so this is an important decision.

Of course, cost is a factor - both the upfront outlay for the software and the long-term cost of ownership. Equally important for managers is the need to feel comfortable in having a partner who understands the business and can provide the right support in a relationship that will hopefully last many years.

Once you have narrowed down your selections, take a look at companies’ websites and read published case studies, which are a good indication of how they have helped other businesses with similar issues and ambitions. Later in the purchasing and installation process, talking to existing customers, visiting a reseller’s premises and meeting their teams would prove beneficial.

We have produced a comprehensive ERP Buying Toolkit that includes information on the best way to build a business case, prepare for an ERP evaluation process and ERP implementation. For more information or to download the guide, complete the form below.