Pragmatic – Leading provider of open source business applications OpenERP, Ruby on Rails, Node.js, Talend, jaspersoft  – Pragmatic
Beyonce Adams

Odoo Demo: Things you Should Look out for When you Evaluate Odoo ERP!

Evaluating an ERP system’s value to your business is a challenging task. There is a host of real-time operational data and research findings to factor in while assessing an ERP solution’s veracity. Moreover, the stakes are too high as the ERP influences all departments of your business and a wrong system can have ramifications that linger for years.

We know that you have shortlisted Odoo as the ERP of your choice. Hence, wherever there is a mention of ERP, please consider that we mean to write for Odoo ERP. However, just to do away with the redundancy, the word Odoo demo would generate, we are not going to repeat it throughout the article.

Here are the five critical factors your ERP evaluation or selection committee must consider:

  1. Functionality: ERP vendors typically claim their system to be a “one-stop-shop” for organisations by offering functionality encompassing almost all departments and processes. However, it makes sense to evaluate how well an ERP system’s functionality matches your organisation’s needs. For e.g., if you need a high-performing CRM in your ERP, but you implement an accounting ERP that claims to have CRM features, it won’t add any value to your business.
  2. Module Integration: An ERP system interfaces with several other systems such as Mail server, Attendance systems, Bar Coding machines to exchange data. Additionally, all modules within an ERP must interface neatly with each other as well with cloud deployments to maintain seamless functioning.
  3. Technical Support: ERP implementation is a long-drawn process and requires technical support throughout its lifecycle. Your vendor must provide support in the form of online portal, email, live help desk and in-person staff.
  4. Vendor Credibility: It’s imperative to check the business background and credentials of your ERP implementation partner. ERP should be their core business and not an appendage.
  5. Financial Risk: Product cost will include not only initial license but also training and implementation costs. Consider if the ERP partner is charging you for usage or by user count.

Here’s how you can evaluate the different modules of an ERP system:

  1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM): An effective CRM module will provide a wholesome view of products, customers and processes across different platforms and devices.
  2. Procurement (SRM): This module must include efficient inventory control and scheduling features. Capacity Requirements Planning (CRP) and Materials Requirement Planning (MRP) must be components of this module.
  3. Production (PLM): Advanced Production Planning (APP) and engineering change management in PLM can smoothen the process changes and balance demand-supply chain that are a continuous challenge for most businesses.
  4. Distribution (SCM): A central Logistics hub in your ERP qualifies it to ease the Distribution module.
  5. Accounting/Finance: The ERP’s Accounting module must deliver on accounts payable, bank statement reconciliation, payroll and tax filing to reduce the workload of the finance department and align compliance caveats.
  6. Human Resource Management System (HRMS): Workforce management, attendance and recruitment features are a must in your Human Resources ERP module.
  7. Governance: Governance, risk and compliance features in ERP systems allow easy adaptation to change in policy regulations and technology.
  8. Asset Management: Asset Lifecycle Management module must cover procurement and maintenance charges, service conditions and returns on investment in tangible terms.
  9. E-Commerce: If integrating ERP with e-Commerce for B2C functionality, look for two-way integration with web stores and marketplace integration.

Evaluate your ERP systems keeping in view your business requirements. Prioritising features into must-haves and deal breakers is a must for all ERP users.

When selecting the best ERP software for your organization, a vendor demo can be exciting. It’s important to see the software in action and understand how it will perform.

But what if a vendor has a relatively weak product but a salesman who is really good at demos? Imagine you’re hiring and a particular candidate wows the interviewers—not because of their work experience but because of their charisma. From job candidates to enterprise software, a great presentation doesn’t guarantee a good fit. We recommend, jotting down points before coming in for an ERP demo to help avoid such a situation.

 

You can record your impressions by assigning a score to each point as well as writing down important notes. 

Using the points for each demo you’ve scheduled ensures that you’re evaluating all products equally. This type of system will also help you compare the solutions once all the demos have been completed.

If you use points, you can keep the demo in your control. If a vendor keeps expounding on a particular feature of their ERP, you can simply ask the presenter to move on to the next point on your list rather than beating around the bush.

 

Maintain objectivity by assigning a number value or range for each point. For example, “excellent” is not as informative as “4 stars out of a possible 5 stars.” The latter tells you that, while great, there was some hesitation or some points deducted. A numerical system also allows you to average the scores given by all members of your selection team.

 

By maintaining a list, you will be able to prevent the “wow factor” from overshadowing the rest of the presentation. Imagine a solution has a particularly simple and elegant interface that is very easy to use. Your selection team might be suitably impressed and give that portion the highest marks. However, if lower marks are recorded in other important areas, the point system will help prevent that one really impressive element from dominating your overall impression of the solution and obscuring some deficit. It enables more objective and dispassionate assessments by your team.

 

Assess the soft factors of an ERP Implementation

Determining whether or not a certain business process is supported by an ERP isn’t too hard. But what about whether it has an intuitive interface? Or whether the vendor seems like they would be easy to work with? Or whether or not it seems easy to run specific functions? Soft factors are important.

 

An ERP that gets full marks for its features but is difficult to learn and frustrating to use won’t be a good investment.

All of these soft factors are hard to rate by simply ticking a box. However, if each member of your selection team records their impressions of these subjective factors on their scorecard or list, it will be easier to compare notes and reach a consensus.

 

Remember that an ERP must have mass appeal as it will be used by people across multiple departments. 

Scheduling realities can stretch out the demo process.

You don’t want the last presentation to get the top spot just because it’s freshest in everyone’s minds.

 

Don’t let a time lag end up taking you down the path of least resistance. Writing down points can help you compare the shortlisted solutions very carefully so as to ultimately choose the very best solution for your requirements. When your selection team tabulates the results, it may come as a surprise that a particular solution ends up scoring very highly, while another that left a strong impression didn’t score very well overall.

Listing down points before sitting for a demo provides you with a more organized and efficient method of evaluating the software. You are better informed about the product’s features and ease of use and you have the information you need to make your final decision.

This was all about points to consider before you sit an ERP demo, be it Odoo demo for a specific module like loan management or a generic Odoo demo. Preparation is always better than taking a wrong decision. In case you need Odoo for your business or are testing the waters, your can get in touch with us at sales@pragtech.co.in

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to Blog via Email.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Related Posts