Selecting an enterprise resource planning system is typically an expensive and time-consuming process. Because of the importance and complexity of the decision, many organizations opt for a formal Request For Proposal (RFP) as part of their ERP system selection process. One of the primary ways used to create an RFP for ERP is to find existing templates that can be customized to your needs and then submitted to a shortlist of ERP vendors. But is this the best way to create your RFP for an ERP system?
To procure an ERP system that best fits with your organization, we recommend following these five essential steps for an ERP RFP project:
Step 1: Establish Internal ERP Requirements
The first step in launching a successful ERP RFP is establishing your organizational ERP requirements. Get all decision makers involved to help prioritize your most important ERP requirements. Getting your most important ERP requirements established in a formal document will aid in the next steps in the RFP process. Often organizations start with an ERP proposal sample, but we recommend do the full requirements gathering exercise instead. Read more on identifying your ERP selection criteria.
Step 2: Build your ERP RFP
Once you’ve ranked your list of ERP requirements, build these into your ERP RFP. By doing so, the responding vendors will answer to the ERP criteria you’ve outlined.
Make sure the RFP for your ERP selection process is professional looking and organized. Submitting your RFP project through a software platform design to manage RFPs is ideal. This way vendor responses (see Step 4) can be auto-compiled, tabulated and easier to analyze.
Step 3: Identify and Submit to ERP Vendors
Once your organization has ranked its critical ERP requirements and moved them into an ERP RFP template, select a shortlist of vendors and invite them to your RFP. It’s ideal to use an ERP RFP management tool as it’s easier for vendors to respond as well as allowing you to manage these responses.
Asking ERP vendors to reply to a RFP is a time intensive process. Check that you’ve defined your requirements well and have made it simple for vendors to submit their responses.
For more help on your selection process, read ERP Software Selection Process and Quick Start Guide.
Step 4: Review RFP Responses
Technology buyers generally gather all responses before doing a full RFP assessment because of the manual processes required to compile all of the responses.
With new software available for your IT procurement process, as you receive RFP responses, you can evaluate and auto-compute them as they arrive. Benefits to do so include: freeing up staff bandwidth, responding to vendor questions, eliminating unqualified vendors and more.
Step 5: Post-Evaluation
Eventually the process we’ve outlined above will lead to selecting from ERP systems. Other steps that occur beyond the RFP include: pilot/proof of concept with vendor finalists, customer references, negotiating terms and executing the final contract.
The entire process outlined above is built into a platform that lets you manage ERP selection requirements and RFPs. You can export your requirements and RFPs as needed. Running RFP projects through SelectHub saves organizations 50% of the time normally spent on a start-to-finish RFP.