Benefits of an RFI Over an RFP in ERP Selection

Once you’ve made the decision to upgrade your legacy business software or implement a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, you may be tempted to rush out and get a quote.  Many times businesses submit a Request for a Proposal (RFP) to potential software vendors, but this step is usually premature as they’re still searching for information to make their decision.

To make a decision as important as selecting the right ERP solution for your business, you might start by sending out a request for information (RFI) to software vendors, instead of an RFP.  The information that you get back can aid in your ERP decision, as well as in the decision to work with one vendor over another.  In your RFI, you can share basic information about your business, such as: what your business does, the software you use today, some of the metrics you track, and expectations that you may have for a new ERP solution.  The information and questions that you pose to vendors will help them narrow down potential ERP choices.  There are many ERP product lines that offer solutions tailored to certain industry types, such as: distributors, manufacturers, retail business, oil-field, agriculture and property management.

The information that you get back from software vendors should include ERP options, as well as information about deployment methods – Cloud, on-premises, or hybrid deployments.  Vendors may include information about estimated implementation schedules, although a more accurate timetable can only be hammered out after a specific ERP solution is chosen.  Additionally, vendors could include price estimates for software licensing and rate schedules for various tasks, such as troubleshooting calls, upgrades, and training sessions.

You will be able to narrow down your ERP options based on the initial information that you receive in response to the RFI.  After making a shortlist of vendors, initiate dialog as you come up with more questions or need additional information to make your ERP selection and vendor selection.  At this point, it is important to discuss how vendors can meet your current needs as well as future needs.  Negotiating prices, services contract, maintenance agreements, technical support, training options and other firm details will come with your final choice.

Using this RFI process will make it easier to choose between ERP solutions and the provider that can implement your solution within your timeframe and budget.  Contact DFC Consultants, Ltd., for additional guidance with your ERP selection: http://www.dfcconsultants.com/Contact_Us/Contact_Us.aspx

By DFC Consultants, Ltd., North Dakota Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner

About Sabrina Zimara, DFC Consultants, Ltd

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