Over the years, our team has found that nearly 90% of our customers ask for software selection help when choosing an ERP software.
Our customers know their business – but they don’t necessarily know how to pick the best software for their business. Nor should they be expected to.
The software selection process can be as overwhelming as the actual implementation of the software itself; and with all of the software options available and advertised, it’s not uncommon for us to hear from clients who are looking for advice.
Too often we meet with clients who share that they had software companies come in to meet with them, only to try and dazzle them with their shiny, supposedly-ground-breaking software, yet never fully address how the software fits the organization’s true needs.
Which is why our team of software selection experts use the approach of “Solution Gap Analysis” to help clients choose a software fit for their business.
Our approach to software selection digs into the core of what a business truly needs, and uses fact-based evidence to choose the appropriate solutions for individual businesses. We take the time to get to know our clients business from top to bottom so no information is missed, and by using a custom need-want matrix, we work to ensure the right software is chosen and implemented correctly the first time around.
The Solution Gap Analysis Process:
1. Identification of Current Business Processes.
Every process begins with a business process review. During this review, our team goes on-site to meet with stakeholders and department leaders to interview and shadow key users and roles of a client. This approach to “show me rather than tell me” of where a business stands allow us to learn the critical internal processes, operations, and future goals of the organization to fully understand how we can help. As we shadow, we record the sessions and screens used to allow for visual representations of before and after a software is implemented.
2. Determination of Need to Have, Nice to Have, and Wishlist.
As we gain a better understanding of the processes and roles of the business we are working with, we work with our clients to determine all that they are looking for in a software solution. We help them to discover three separate lists: what they need to have, what would be nice to have, and a wishlist of additional features that they could benefit from in a software solution. Building and defining these lists are a critical step in the software selection process, as they set the benchmark for what we then look for in a potential vendor.
3. Vendor Discovery and Matrix Comparison.
Upon outlining the need to have, nice to have, and wishlist lists, we identify a selection of relevant software vendors that we know and trust, and send the lists out for discovery. The selected vendors compare their software capabilities and provide feedback for how they can help meet the wants and needs outlined on our client’s list.
When the vendors return their results on how they can meet our client’s lists of wants and needs, we then take the insight and combine the vendor’s capabilities and our client’s needs into a matrix and sample graph – outlining what the client needs vs. what the vendor can do. We outline a matrix and graph for each vendor, and then choose the first round of eligible vendors based on which ones come the closest to meeting our client’s needs.
Once the top vendors are identified, we sit down with our client and share the fact-based recommendations for who should be considered as a software vendor, based on their needs and vendor capabilities.
4. Vendor Demos.
From here, we schedule up to 5 demos with the chosen individual software vendors. Demos allow us to walk through each platform and ensure that the vendor proves they can do what they have claimed to meet the needs of our client, and the client can see how the software will work with their business processes. After the demos are completed, we work with our client to narrow down the vendor list based on how they can provide unique value and meet business needs compared to the other vendor contenders.
5. Software Selection.
The final step in the software selection process is to choose a software platform. Using the fact-based client need vs. vendor capability matrix along with software demos, our clients can make an educated and well-informed decision to choose the right software for their business.
Partnering with a team of software selection experts helps to make sure the Solution Gap Analysis Process runs successfully, and a strong ERP software is chosen. This entails the identification of current business processes, software wants and needs, research around vendors that fit business needs, the understanding of where vendors play in the market and how they scale, and proof that certain vendors can meet specific needs.