This is the beginning of a series reviewing some of the typical tactics and sales scams many software vendors use to gain your business. Rather than competing on merit many vendors resort to various strategies or techniques designed to prevent you from gaining the critical insight you need to make the best possible decision. Their strategies and tactics are designed to deflect you from discovering any of their weaknesses or even deceive you into believing they have qualifications that do not exist (see the previous post, Scams, Shams, ERP System Integrator Tactics).
You’ve Determined You Need an SAP or ERP System
You’ve done initial analysis and some internal due diligence and realize all those Excel spreadsheets, Access databases, home grown, patched together, and exploding data sets are everywhere. The landscape of data sources resembles more of a third-world war zone rather than a well rehearsed symphony orchestra.
Senior management and the executives keep asking for information or reports that take days, or in some cases even weeks to cobble together from way too many sources. The “answers” you get from the data never seems to be the same no matter how many times you redo it. It’s past time to look at SAP or another ERP application and the implementation vendor.
Now You Start the Selection Process
Even though using a structured business software vendor evaluation and selection methodology may seem elementary there are still too many companies who do not follow one. Some companies get overly complicated in how they select their vendors (using more of a software selection methodology) when what really matter are the consultants and the project team that is responsible to deliver the results. One of the ERP critical success factors is to focus on what matters to you and your company’s project:
- FIXING Stupid SAP Vendor – Partner Selection RFI – RFP Processes
- More on Stupid SAP Vendor – Partner Selection RFI-RFP Processes
- Why SAP Vendor – Partner Selection RFI Processes are Stupid
Often there are a lot of gaps for the selection process to be “gamed” or manipulated, or you fall prey to sales tactics that are designed to manipulate the person rather than dealing with the requirements. When that happens the company making the investment suffers. They suffer from poor results, serious cost overruns, blown time-lines, and damaging shock-waves to their company culture. They are sold a chocolate pie only to find out the chocolate has been substituted for other brown stuff that might look like chocolate but stinks enough to make you puke.
Understanding the Stages of the Selection Process and How to Deal with Each Stage
The selection overview consists of a few steps that are not hard to understand but they can be tedious. I have outlined them as follows:
- First Things First (Governance and Control)
- Early in the Sales Cycle – Software sales and System Integrators
- Progress on the SAP or ERP Software and Vendor Selection
- Deep Into the SAP or ERP Sales Cycle
- ERP Software and Integration Vendor Tactics
- Site Visit or Phone Visit to Verify ERP Vendor claims
- The Finals
Over the next several weeks we will explore a series of posts based on each of these topics. These topics are from part of a business software and vendor or system integrator selection methodology I’ve used in RFI and RFP consulting. The approach I use addresses areas and solutions that very few (if any) of the RFI and RFP consultants ever address. At the end of the day my goal is to see you make the best possible selection to propel your business forward. And as a result of my passion to see businesses succeed with their large implementation projects I am making this information freely available.
Stay tuned next week for the first part of this detailed series. We will look at “First Things First” in preparing for and initiating your software or implementation vendor selection.