Solution Evaluation

When embarking on a project to select a new ERP system the first step is to review “current” business processes. This is going to help us understand “what we do today and what we want to do”. This will help us in defining your system requirements. We begin with Process Definition - Define Start, Finish, and Process Steps for the 6 key areas:

  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Order to Cash
  • Plan to Produce
  • Procure to Pay
  • Finance and Control
  • Master Data


During this phase we:

  • Gather existing departmental procedures, guidelines, work instructions, existing process flows, reference documents
  • Describe roles involved in Process: Identify who is doing the tasks and what are their inter-departmental interactions


Reports and Key Performance Indicators identify all reports that are being used by the users, supervisors and managers. This means reports that are used daily as well as reports that are used for tracking performance.


We also review and identify current system and process limitations. Describe any key process improvement opportunities that will streamline process, reduce hand-offs, eliminate non-value added activities, increase revenue, reduce process cycle time, improve quality, reduce cost, improve margin, and by keeping the ‘voice of the customer’ in mind, what can be done to improve customer satisfaction.


This "Discovery Phase" builds a solid foundation to make the entire ERP selection project more efficient and shorten the project duration. This information allows espi to interview and identify vendors with systems aligned to your company’s success.


We then create an RFP for the vendors we agree have the systems that align closest to your target needs. Keeping the demonstrations process driven by providing specific data and scripts helps the vendors become more efficient by focusing on the key features of software that relate directly to your business needs. This also creates a level field for all vendors and better comparison with our proven selection matrix.


After the demonstrations are complete we assist you in negotiating costs from the finalists and thoroughly analyzing total cost of ownership (TCO). We provide this documentation for you to confidently select a system and increase the success of the next phase - Implementation


ERP Implementation

There are many stories of failed ERP implementations with their cost over-runs, missed go-live dates, disruptions in production and worse. ERP implementations are some of the highest magnitude projects when you factor in the initial software and implementation costs, ongoing maintenance, technology upgrades, training and ERP adoption throughout the enterprise.


Increase the success of your ERP implementation by relying on the expertise of espi. Our team of senior consultants possesses both the functional and technical experience to lead your organization from design and master data setup down through the implementation details and ¬finally the training and support of the project. The key to our success has been through maximizing efficiency by leveraging industry best practice models to not only ensure your implementation is a success, but that you also achieve sustained improvement through a continuous process of improvement.


We work directly with your team to establish Project Management and Pre-Implementation guidelines. Much of the Pre-Implementation discovery may have been completed in the ERP Selection phase. If espi was not part of the selection phase please read ERP Selection to get a better idea of the information gathered to help streamline the project.


Please note that espi's services do not entirely replace the need for vendor services that provide specific product knowledge to the project. Our focus is in supporting your organization and working with the vendor to ensure success in the ERP implementation project.


Related case studies

Making the Right Decision – Orbel ERP Selection

precision_metal CHALLENGE Orbel was using an ERP system installed in 2006 and up to date with the latest releases. The system had an estimating component and CRM however they were not robust enough for the needs of Orbel and additional software packages were purchased. These packages, as well as others used, did not communicate to the ERP system making it di˜cult to have end-to-end visibility. Accurate reporting was also a question based on the various systems. Looking at the projected growth and direction the company wanted to move in the question arose “Will this ERP system suit our needs or is there another package that will help us reach our goals?”   SOLUTION espi was selected to help Orbel analyze the business processes and evaluate the current ERP system. At this time a gap analysis was conducted identifying the areas within the current system that did not support the business and if these were options available by the ERP vendor. It was determined that some areas could be addressed through the existing software however other areas would not be addressed and some future goals were not an option. It was at this time that espi began to compile a list of potential ERP systems that would provide the support Orbel was looking for.   PROCESS espi began the project by establishing an understanding of all facets of the Orbel business processes. All facets targeted under the ERP scope were included: Marketing, Sales, Engineering, and Quoting (Customer Relationship Management); Order Management, Scheduling, Purchasing, Production Control, Shipping, Billing, and Payables (Order to Cash and Procure to Pay). Master Data was reviewed and sampled to support realistic scenarios by candidate software vendors as well as a starting point towards defining appropriate controls and configuration in the new system.This was done through a coordinated effort outlined by espi, to include the Orbel executive team and their subject matter experts. espi also conducted an analysis of market growth strategy Orbel was planning; and what the potential influence factors were regarding a final solution.   Activities and topics during the assessment phase:
    • Define key stakeholders and participants in the selection process
    • Agree upon project timelines and key milestones.
    • Define scope, including users, modules, locations, level of customization/centralization and potential solution structure.
    • Conduct process reviews and future state definition with key stakeholders and participants.
    • Establish initial opportunities for improvement expected to be brought about as a result of the new system introduction.
    • Communication with the user base to create initial awareness and project support
    • Explore ERP options / List priorities as they relate to each option:
      • Best-of-Breed
      • Hybrid
      • Mixture of options
    • Hosting strategy
      • Software as a Service
      • On-premise
      • Combination
    • ERP Vendor Evaluation and Software Selection Activities
      • Develop requests for proposals for software implementation, integration and consulting services
      • Create “demo scripts” for vendors to present to the team
      • Conduct preparation and discovery calls with each of the short-listed vendors to ensure they are comfortable with the client’s requirements, demo scripts and evaluation
      • Create on-line employee evaluation surveys based on the client’s specific requirements
      • Facilitate vendor demonstration sessions
      • Analyze software’s functional strengths and weaknesses relative to the client’s business requirements
  These steps in our process ensure that the client receives a balanced and neutral view of key attributes, functionality, strengths and limitations of vendor products to help the project team identify the best-fit software option.   From a field of nearly 100 potentially viable ERP solutions, espi narrowed the final list to four (4) offerings which were chosen for further evaluation and demonstration. espi constructed vendor scripts and scorecards for use by the Orbel selection team during the demonstrations. Results of these product evaluations reduced the arena to two final contenders.  
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