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Goal #10 in Selecting Your The Best Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System:
Be Honest and Dependable

The 10 Principles of Success

We continue to review the 10 Principles of Success and how they’re applied to ERP Selection with the 10th Goal for Success: Be Honest and Dependable!

The 10 Principles of Success are:

1. How You Think is Everything! 

  • Always be positive.
  • Think success not failure.
  • Be aware of a negative environment.

2. Decide on What Your True Goals Are!

  • Write down what your specific goals are.
  • Write down a plan/time line in how to obtain your goals.

3. Take Action!

  • Goals/Plans are nothing without action.
  • Don’t be afraid to get started – “Just Do It”, it doesn’t need to be perfect to start, nothing ever is!

4. Never Stop Learning!

  • Get on-going training so use to better your organization.

5. Persistence and Hard Work Pay-off!

  • Success is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • Never give up on the goal/plan that you created in number 3 above, original or revised!

6. Learn How to Analyze the Details!

  • Get all the facts/input you can – Learn from your mistakes.

7. Focus Your Time And Money!

  • Don’t let other things and people distract you!

8. Don’t be Afraid to Innovate and Change – Be Different!

  • Following the way that it’s always been done is a sure way to achieve nothing.

9. Communicate and Deal with People Effectively!

  • Learn to understand what motivates the people you work with and what they need to be successful. No person is the organization or is indispensable.

10. Be Honest and Dependable!

  • Take Responsibility – Otherwise 1 through 9 above won’t matter.

As a disclaimer, these 10 Principles of Success come from Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) newspaper aimed at helping stock market investors understand what good growth stocks to invest in, based on what the current overall market conditions are.  EstesGroup believes that a company can apply these 10 Principles of Success to ERP systems; that is selecting, implementing and using them.

How does the 9th Principle of Success apply to:

Choosing the Right ERP System for Your Business?

Principle # 10:  Be Honest and Dependable!

  • Take Responsibility – Otherwise 1 through 9 above won’t matter.

My Dad has always told me, showing up each day, using common sense and being honest is 98% of what makes you successful in life.  Honesty and Dependability is the cornerstone in most things that are successful and it’s no different in selecting an ERP system.
In selecting the right ERP system for your company, you’ll come across several different individuals that can make or break the system selection process a positive experience for your company.  The individuals I’m speaking of are:

  • Independent ERP consultants
  • Software Vendor Personnel
  • Your Own Company Employees

In order for your company to clearly understand whom in this group of people is honest, dependable and is ready to step to the forefront of your ERP selection process to take responsibility of its success, you need to develop a few tracking tools that provides you what I like to call the “ERP Honesty Gage Tool Kit”.
I’ll provide you some of the more important items in the “ERP Honesty Gage Tool Kit” in a moment, but I want to make sure you understand the reason why you need one in the first place to ensure your companyselects the right ERP system.
I’ve been in the ERP software space for 30 + years and I only know of a few so called Independent” ERP Consultants.  I’m not saying these consultants/consulting firms don’t provide a service, but the majority of the so called “Independent” consultants/consulting firms out there have their favorite ERP systems/vendors they continually recommend to their clients and for this they get an additional “Referral” fee from these vendors for their recommendation after they’ve charged your company for their consulting time.  This is a conflict of interest and should not be taken lightly while you’re selecting a system that will touch every area of your company.
Knowing up front how to deal with ERP Vendor Personnel when you’re reviewing their ERP systems is ultimately what will make or break you selecting the right ERP system.  The most important thing to the ERP vendor is to sell you their software system and implementation services as quickly (on their timeline, not yours) as possible.  There are several red flags you should be aware of and be able react to, to avoid these types of vendors.  I’ll point that out below.
The honesty and dependability of your own company employees, especially the company employees that are on the ERP “Selection Review” team have to be continually monitored through the selection process as well as you have to know up front if any of your these employees are biased for or against a particular system.  What are the signs?
ERP Honesty Gage Tool Kit
Independent Consultants:

  • Check there website, if they list particular ERP Software Vendor as their partners, there’s could be a conflict of interest with them helping you with your review.
  • Ask them to sign a document stating they are not associated, nor have they ever received any “Referral Fees” from any ERP software vendors for their recommendations.  If they’re hesitant to do this you probably know they aren’t “independent”.
  • Ask for references.  If the majority of references have all chosen the same ERP system, chances are they are not an “independent” consultant.
  • If the “independent” consultant wants to project manage the implementation of the ERP system once it’s selected, chances are they are not independent.  ERP implementation project management needs to be handled by a certified member of the ERP software system.
  • If the “independent” consultant recommends your company review an ERP system prior to doing a “Business Process Review” or reviewing one you’ve provided them, their “independent” status is questionable.

Software Vendor Personnel:

  • If the Software Vendor offers to do a software demonstration of their system, prior to understanding your business you are most likely are not dealing with someone that wants to know.  Ask them for demo, if they say yes without having a detailed conversation about what you do and how you do it they just want sell you a system.
  • If the Software vendor offers you a month/quarter end price special before going through the ERP sales process, they are not going to be the partner your company will want over the long haul.  (If you want to understand what the ERP Sales Process is, from a software vendor’s point of view, give us a call at EstesGroup, we’ll share it with you, as well why it’s so important to follow it).
  • Ask the ERP software vendor for references of companies they’ve sold in your industry.  If they are reluctant to do so, or they never provide you any names, chances are they have none.  This should cause you concern.
  • The software vendor should put together a demonstration script that follows your business processes.  If none is provided they are not equipped to show you how the “Best Practices” in their system can help you improve your company.
  • Because ERP systems are more complex today, it’s extremely rare for a software vendor to have one person do it all (i.e. software demonstration, infrastructure discussion, implementation overview, etc.).  Get to know the software vendors entire team that will be involved in your review of their system.  If there’ only one person, chances are the software vendor might be too small for your company to work with.

Company Employees:

  • Prior to beginning your company ERP review, the project lead should provide the “Review Team” a questionnaire asking them directly if they have any ERP system bias (i.e. for or against a particular ERP system).
  • If a “Review Team” member consistently only participates in the review of one of the systems your company is reviewing, then they may have bias.
  • If a “Review Team” member continually criticizes or speaks highly of what they’ve seen/heard of onlyone ERP system Vs the other systems being reviewed, they mostly likely have already formed an opinion on their recommendation.  Every ERP system has pros and cons and that should be kept in mind throughout the selection process.
  • The homework that is assigned by the ERP Review Leader to the Review Team Member is late or consistently not completed it might be an indication that person doesn’t want to embrace the new system.
  • Embracing change is an important part of selecting, implementing and using an ERP system.  If a critical person or group of people in your organization have not provided the ERP Review Leader with any ideas in how a new system can help them or their area function more efficiently and effectively this should be a red flag that needs to be dealt with immediately in the selection process.

If you’d like to learn more about what and how to measure the honesty and dependability of the people you’re counting on to select the right ERP system, prior to buying it, give EstesGroup a call, wecan help!  We’ve been providing this type of help to the manufacturing/distribution industry for years.

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