5 Mistakes Distributors Make in Selecting ERP



With the immense changes the distribution industry has undergone and continues to face today, there are mistakes that you as a wholesaler simply can’t afford to make. Certainly, one of these—perhaps the greatest of all in our technology-driven age—is choosing the wrong ERP for your business.

However, decades of industry-specific experience and business intelligence have shown us that there are actually several smaller mistakes that have lead up to a distributor’s poor ERP selection. To help you avoid them, Epicor offers an educational white paper, “5 Mistakes Distributors Make When Selecting an Enterprise Software Solution.”

Smart Selection Begins with Your Vision

In his highly acclaimed book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, best-selling author Stephen R. Covey lists as his second habit, “Begin with the end in mind.” This is for good reason, since envisioning what you want in the future is what will inform your decisions in the present and reveal the concrete steps you must take to make your vision a reality. So it’s no surprise that several of the mistakes we see distributors make in choosing an ERP solution have to do with this issue of establishing and executing on a specific vision.

Not involving the head of the organization in the selection process is the first mistake. Thinking that it’s strictly a technology issue, top executives often leave the decision solely to their information technology (IT) staff. However, as the white paper points out:

Unless the IT team understands the vision of the company for the next 5-10 years, they cannot judge the value a software solution will bring to the business. The top executive should always lead the search for new software by establishing a vision for the project.

In addition, your company should ensure that your chosen solution provider also has a strategic vision for distribution technology in the next 10 years.

Ask the Right Questions to Get the Right Answers

Some of the other mistakes we see distributors make in their quest for an enterprise software solution relate to not asking the right questions of their potential technology vendors. The right discovery questions will help you quickly narrow the field of vendors and determine which one will best be able to grow with your organization and serve its unique needs. Questions like:

  • How long has the company been serving distributors?
  • Is the company a member of associations and buying/marketing groups in your industry?
  • What does their technology roadmap look like for your product?

Of course, you’ll also want to ask questions of your organization—such as what are your partnership selection criteria; what financial, operational, and talent risks are you comfortable taking; and how willing are you to change existing business processes upon implementing new technology.

Before making your decision, read “5 Mistakes Distributors Make When Selecting an Enterprise Software Solution”—download it today here.

Posted by Epicor Distribution Insights Team


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