Lesson Learned

Our software selection process includes scripted demonstrations. The first demonstration is based on requirements, takes on average of 3 hours and is used as a way to select two final vendors for a more detailed demonstration based on business processes. The script can be challenging and some vendors would rather perform their usual demonstration sometimes called a dog and pony show. These vendors typically suffer the consequences as our clients will judge them harshly for not following the script. But we did recently experience a case where the vendor did not follow the script very well and our client did not reject them. In fact, this vendor was eventually selected. The vendor had so much experience in our client’s industry and was able to make the attendees feel comfortable with the solution which appeared easier to use than the other systems.  One of the reasons the system appeared easier to use was that the vendor did not demonstrate all the requirements. Lesson learned – We need to ease back on the number of requirements to be demonstrated in the first demonstration.

1 thought on “Lesson Learned

  1. My experience over the past 30 years is that the tighter you specify what you want then the less well the solution works.

    A client has a number of “must have” features – but in many cases these are not unique to them, and many solutions will meet them. But what you, as consultants, need to do is to let the vendors show off what they believe the additional benefits of their solution might be.

    This tests the vendors understanding of the industry requirements, it allows your client to consider ways of solving problems that they had not thought of; and I mean the both the way and the problem.

    The follow up workshop can require the vendor to show how they will cope with some real scenarios, but don’t script the requirement too closely – simply present significant issues that occur in real life and ask them to show you how they would resolve it.

    When you have a preferred supplier then require them, at your cost, to do a full scoping exercise and detail how their solution will be implemented. This may typically involve around 10 chargeable days – but the resultant document will be incorporated into the contract. Only at that time can you commit to software licences, and to the typical 35- 50 – even 100+ days that a serious ERP solution may take to implement.

    The cost of the system is not the main issue – what matters is that the client has a platform that will help them drive their business forward for the next 5 to 10 years at least.

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