How to approach buying an ERP system


ERP Symphony – How to approach buying an ERP system


Sympathy for the devil

Sales roles can be rough no matter how genuine or enthusiastic you are about a product. The buyer can assume a bias and this leads to a distrust. Buyers walk the line of interest and indifference not wanting to pay over the odds. Nobody wants to experience that pang of buyers remorse 3 months down the line when the payments have cleared and you have a product that just is not performing as expected within their business. Who does the blame lie with?  Was the buyer hoodwinked by a callous sales representative or did the buyer not make the time to investigate and analyse the product? A successful ERP system implementation requires full engagement from the top down.

There is no such thing as a quick buck, successful companies depend on their name and reputation to get future sales (especially in Ireland and particularly in software). There is no better sale in my opinion than a referral from an existing customer to a new one. I love nothing more than getting a call from a new customer that says “ Hi Jim, Paul from FOOD4LIFE said you and your team did a fantastic job in understanding his business and meeting his needs. Can we arrange a meeting to discuss how your ERP system can help us?”.

From a business developer and company perspective this is a hole in one. If you consider the time, money savings and opportunity this creates, it is the only way we want to do business. A basic trust has already been formed and engagement will be much higher, ultimately creating a much better end result for both parties.

Bottom line, view the sales and implementation teams as your friend, they want to do well for you and can provide the best solution when engaged fully.  We hope to have your business long into the future and the better the communication and relationship, the better the result.

gm_drive_gm_grey_24dp.png ERP Sytem - The ERP Synphony for your business

Check out our blog post below on why our ERP system is a must in today’s business:

The Composers Section OR the CEO

Software sales are tricky, you need the buyer to invest time into creating their solution. Why do the buyers need your software? Well in general, because the Software will save them time, alas the buyer does not have much time and therein lies the problem! If we take an ERP system as an example of somewhat complex integrated software, how do we convey its value to someone short on time.

I have often compared it to an orchestra. You have all the different sections doing their part in the symphony. If you were to listen to one section alone it really would make no sense and frankly would not be that good. It is only through the composer that all of the different sections and instruments work together to create something. An ERP system is adding the next tier of control.

You have to hear it to believe it

In the modern day, we have the ability to amplify and record our symphony which allows for unprecedented control. A symphony which could only be enjoyed by a few hundred people at a time in a concert hall can now be broadcast to 10,000 of thousands of people in a live setting and then shared digitally across the globe to anyone who cares to listen. Can you imagine explaining the experience of putting on high definition noise cancelling earphones to Chopin, Schubert or Vivaldi? Can you imagine them listening to a perfectly mixed rendition of one of their works that may have been performed on the other side of the world?

Playing outside the concert hall

In many ways when I am dealing with potential ERP system customers we have to go through this journey. As with any consultative sales, it requires input from the customer and sometimes a little imagination. If you constantly rush meetings, avoid calls and interrupt the progress, sure enough you will get a disjointed result with lost opportunity.  There has to be a break from status quo and an imagination of how the company will work; that can only be achieved through healthy lines of communication.

Are you flat?

The control and business intelligence created by ERP systems is something all buyers may not fully understand at the start of the experience. The ability to track the entire company performance on one platform is much like the producer above who can alter the sound of each individual in the orchestra from their soundboard. There is a fantastic scene in Whiplash  (Check out the scene here:  Are you flat?) where the conductor who has perfect pitch hearing can tell within seconds someone in his orchestra is out of tune . Very few people have this ability and it makes for some great cinema but we want to.

Business intelligence from an ERP system can essentially give you ‘perfect pitch’ in the business world. As all of your data is now being recorded you can see trends, you can see levels of production, levels of waste, margins of profitability. You get to create your own base note and use it as a template to judge business performance. If someone in your orchestra is playing a flat note- well you can easily identify them and make the changes necessary before it becomes a problem. The constant access to data allows you to make the changes as they occur and not wait for a quarterly or bi annual review.

Check out the scene below:

So a final thought for all you busy CEO’s and CFO’s out there. Embracing an ERP system is embracing change, and lets face it no one likes change. However, change is always necessary and much like the digitalisation of music, ultimately allows us to access a wider audience with a better product.  With any change, it is necessary to invest the time to understand the product you are buying and to actively engage with the software provider to get the best results for your operation.

Thinking of purchasing an ERP System for your business? Check out our blog below on three things to take into consideration while purchasing an ERP System!


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