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Buying ERP Emotionally – Choose wisely or choose foolishly

People often are buying ERP emotionally. In fact, many times emotion overcomes the buying process. It often does not matter how diligent you have been in keeping an objective measure of the features, costs, vendor’s abilities, and other factors, you still may end up buying a system based on a demo that really “resonated” with you and your team. Selecting a system is a buying process. As you know, buyers of anything are involved in an emotional transaction. People often talk about being objective, but what about the feelings in purchasing an ERP software solution?Emotional ERP Buying

If you are looking for a new ERP solution and do not yet know which vendors to consider, don’t just jump in and choose vendors because your family member used it at another company. Don’t just Google search for vendors in your industry. Rather take an objective look and use a proper selection service to assist you in finding the right solution for your specific business. You might be surprised as to how many people choose software based on an irrational vendor pool.

Once you have narrowed down the vendors and started to have conversations with them, should you allow emotions to play into the buying decision? Yes, provided that they are focused in the right areas. Things such as:

  • The delivery team presented by the vendor “clicks” (or has a strong connection) with your team
  • The software looks and feels really good (your team will easily use it)
  • You get a sense that the delivery manager for the implementation is really concerned about your success

These areas are all emotional areas that can play to your success. If the delivery team works well with your people then there is a good chance that they will more readily resolve the inevitable problems that you will encounter. The emotional reaction to the software can be a good thing, if you keep it in perspective. When your users see the software for the first time, are they thinking “wow this is easy” or are they thinking “ugh this is so ugly and difficult”? The UI (User Interface) and the UX (User Experience) are very important to usability. But does a very useable system out-weigh the fact that it will require a lot of customization to make if fit your processes? Often it won’t. However, if the users are drawn to the system, the more they will use it. Adoption is a key factor in any implementation.

If you feel that the delivery manager working for the implementation provider really gets what you are trying to do and really is committed to your success, then you may have a winning team. If however, you feel you are not getting the attention and the sincerity of the delivery manager, then you might be better off finding another team. This may not mean walking away from the ERP software, but it may mean finding a different implementation partner. If the ERP software company sells direct and provides the implementation team, then see if you can engage with a different team.

Buying ERP Emotionally pros and cons

Areas to avoid having an emotional reaction:

  • The salesperson is a really great person
  • “The demo just flowed really well”
  • “The price was too good to pass up”

These three emotional responses are very typical and often vendors will try to play up your emotions in these areas. But let’s take these apart one-by-one. The salesperson will be gone after the sale. In the end, you will be left with software that will either benefit your company or be a problem for the next 10 years.

Keep in mind that the salesperson wants to get you emotionally tied to the solution and avoid the detail of the functional requirements.

The demo is often the most emotional part of the process because you are anticipating how wonderful a new software will work with your company. If the demo flows really smoothly, that is good. However, if the demo flows well, but did not answer all of your requirements, then it is still a failure. Lastly, if the price was too good to pass up, then you may have a deal. Again though, if the system does not meet your needs, then it is still a bad purchase. If it meets part of your needs, are you willing to live without, or pay for customizations to get it to a 100% fit?

So as you can see, selecting an ERP solution and getting it live successfully goes hand in hand. Getting to a “best fit” not only means the objective software measures, such as process and functional fit. It means that you feel that the team delivering will get it done and will work well with your team. It means that you get proper adoption because people “like” the system. But despite these things, you still need to make sure that your processes are addressed and your functional requirements are met.

When you “feel” yourself getting emotionally connected to the software vendor, stop and think, “Is this a good move, or am I being foolish by allowing myself to be led by my emotions?” Understanding how buying ERP emotionally can benefit you or blind you is key to making a wise decision.

What do you think?

The post Buying ERP Emotionally – Choose wisely or choose foolishly appeared first on ERP Software Selection Help.

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More Stories By Chris Shaul

Chris Shaul has implemented hundreds of CRM and ERP as both a project manager and a solution architect. With a strong background in the manufacturing and distribution industries, he has delivered projects for large and small firms. He has implemented software in many industries, including: High-tech, Manufacturing, Distribution, Service organizations, Medical, Non-Profits and Construction firms. Chris is an experienced leader in Customer Service, Salesforce Automation, Social Enterprise and Marketing. He has trained and experienced in Lean Enterprise concepts, Business Process Reengineering, Strategic Planning, Project Management, and Business Systems Architecture. He is currently working as a delivery manager for a global consulting firm and holds four certifications in Salesforce.com.

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