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What to Look for in a Discrete Manufacturing Software Provider

discrete manufacturing software

Discrete Manufacturing Software

After deciding that you need an ERP system, then evaluating your software needs, formulating a strategy for choosing the right system, and how much it will cost you, it’s time for perhaps the most crucial decision: choosing the vendor. Who will you choose as your ERP software vendor?

Most ERP systems should be able to provide the bulk of the functionality you are after and meet your basic needs. Therefore, the biggest task will be selecting the right vendor. it is important to carry out due diligence on the ERP service provider you are considering.  Find out how the company handles ERP implementation and what it does to help customers be successful in the long run. Remember, you are going to be “married” to the ERP vendor for a long time. Therefore, take your time to weigh all the factors.

Investigating the ERP Vendor

Discrete manufacturing software is a large, long-term investment.  Make sure the company you choose will be around to offer support when needed.  You will want to look at the history of the company when it comes to customer service, organizational stability, and financial soundness.

Apart from the aforementioned characteristics, consider the following:

a) Vertical Expertise

Has the company worked with other organizations within your industry or vertical? Does it offer industry-specific best practices and processes built into the ERP system? As a discrete manufacturing organization, you will benefit more by working with an ERP Value Added Reseller (VAR) that specializes in your vertical rather than an “all-around” vendor.

b) Global/Local Presence

Does the vendor have a presence in the locations where you do business? Do they offer on-site support when you need it? Are you working with a vendor in the same time zones where you operate? Given that ERP software is a large investment, you want a vendor that will be readily available at any time to troubleshoot any issues as they arise.

c) Vision

What is the reseller's technology vision? Are they adding value to the ERP through innovative ways that will give your business an ongoing competitive edge in the market?

d) R&D Capabilities

What is the investment in the enhancement and roadmap for the product in which you are looking to invest?

e) Customer Service

Does the vendor have a solid track record of offering excellent customer service? How many of the vendor’s customers are repeat customers, and how is the company rated in industry surveys? Look for vendors that have been awarded the highest industry standard certifications such as Top 100 VAR and Microsoft Gold Enterprise Resource Planning Partner.

f) Credibility

What do existing customers say about the vendor? Do not simply check references, but find out at industry meetings or shows what other companies, suppliers, and partners in the supply chain are saying about the vendor.

Can the Vendor Implement The ERP System?

The ERP system is only as good as its implementation. Before switching or upgrading your ERP system, consider how the vendor will deliver and support your project.

There are many factors that must be considered with regards to the time required to upgrade or install a new system. The vendor has to consider the data quality of your existing system, data migration from the legacy to the new ERP system, the number of employees who will be using the system, integrations with third party applications, location where the system will be used, and required customizations.

Is the Vendor Committed to your Success?

When evaluating a vendor, do not stop at the initial sale and implementation. Find out how the vendor will support your organization after go-live.

Does the vendor have the tools and resources that will contribute to your success in the long term? For example, does the vendor provide resources such as training videos or a website portal that will help your employees get up to speed with using the discrete manufacturing software? Does the vendor have knowledgeable consultants and project managers to lead the implementation?

Working with innovative vendors that have the right technology can give your company a competitive advantage in your vertical.  However, technology is not enough.  In today’s economy, smart companies understand having the right level of support is critical to the success of the entire organization.Accelerate ERP Adoption

Tags: Manufacturing ERP Software, ERP Software

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