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How an ERP Search is Like Hiring an Employee Part I

How an ERP Search is Like Hiring an Employee Part I

How is an ERP Search like Hiring an Employee?

When faced with a large task out of the routine, like buying a house or a car, we often struggle with where to start. The question of “where do I start” ultimately leads us to a search engine, like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. The story is no different when beginning a search for ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software for your company. Regardless of the amount of time you've been with the company, whether it be for many years or perhaps you just began working there last month, your observation is that your company processes & reporting are in need of some serious help. The real struggle is pinpointing where to start.  For the last month I have been putting a lot of thought into how to go about this procedure; initially I was going to write only one single post about this subject.  One problem I’ve come up against is that this topic is so expansive, it makes more sense to create a series which will reveal the tricks and secrets to searching & selecting an ERP system. 

We’ll start off on how to go about this process within the framework of a metaphor.  After careful consideration, I've decided to compare the process of finding an ERP for your company to the search for a new employee.  Even the most inexperienced person reading this has at one time been on either side of that scenario. Undoubtedly, you have some personal experience to relate to the process of hiring someone new to work for you.  The person you are seeking to hire is to be an expert capable of tackling the needs you've discovered during your observations.  For this metaphor, I will be using language and terms as if I'm writing about interviewing and hiring an ERP software. In a way, you are.  We just don't phrase it that way.


It has been decided that you will need to hire someone to take on certain business processes for the company. You’ve got to write up the criteria for the person and their job description.  How will they be expected to spend their 40 hours a week? Before you start receiving resumes, you've got to articulate the job functions in a way to understand your company’s needs. This must certainly be done before advertising or recruiting for a position in order to avoid a you-know-what storm.  Naturally, a good place to start is by outlining what processes need help.  It is at this stage you may find out if you don't even need a new ERP "employee" but are able to streamline or revise your current processes or adjust training of personnel to more effectively perform their duties.  Define what tasks are being accomplished now and how you'd like to see them improved.  You may want the employee to work in different departments.  If this is the case, do this for each department for which you want your ERP employee to work. Maybe you are thinking it sounds like a great deal of work. Without being thorough at this stage you may not have a sufficient business case to present to top management to justify the "hire" of a new ERP employee who may be perceived as expensive. You've got to prove this new employee is going to save time and money in the long run in order to justify the expense of hiring.

RELATED ARTICLE:  What Is ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) And Can It Help My Company?

How to Write a "Help Wanted" Ad (RFP)

Next you'll need to write out your employment ad, otherwise known as a RFP. You'll want to include the following:

  • Departments. (Equivalent term is “modules” in the context of ERP) such as Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, General Ledger, Cash Management and Purchasing.
  • Time-frame.  The more modules included, you will need to expand the time-frame of implementation, as personnel from the various departments should have input as they will all be affected by the implementation and training aspects. One strategy would be to break this up into phases in order to prevent the transition from destabilizing.  Phase I might be financial core, GL, AR, AP, Cash.  Phase II would follow with Inventory, Sales Order, Purchasing. Phase III would involve the manufacturing processes.  It's worthwhile to take the time in planning and implementing the changes which are going to be the gifts that keep giving for your company.
  • Space. Where are you going to put your new employee?  You'll need the proper physical infrastructure for this new employee. Do you expect a new employee to work at top efficiency with your oldest office computer? Of course not. Include in your RFP the hardware & software you'll need to get the most out of your investment.  ERP vendors will help you with this part-it is their job to find answers to these questions. Also, don't discount the option of hosted or cloud offerings. Do your research or you may want to hire an expert to help.
  • Goals. Consider the intention or goals of the person you are “hiring”. That way you can determine that they are confirmed goals and linked to your business case.

RELATED ARTICLE:  Where To Stick Your ERP? Cloud vs. Hosted vs. On-Premise

  • Supervision. Somebody is going to need to take charge and supervise the "training" of your new ERP employee. This is commonly called an implementation, and that person may be called a project manager. You may already have several people as assistant managers in various departments, but you'll need to instate a primary contact with the ERP vendors.

The Next Step, Interview Process

We've now figured out what your company needs and articulated what the new ERP employee will be doing, who they are working with and what our expectations for that position are. It's time to start reviewing all those resumes. That will be the next topic covered, "The Next Step, Interview Process."
Complete Programmed Accounting, Inc. (CPA, Inc.), is a team of ERP software and CRM software integration specialists in the central Indiana area with over 20 years of experience supporting SYSPRO ERP, SYSPRO CRM, TRAVERSE ERP, TRAVERSE CRM, and Platinum for DOS, and Platinum for Windows, where your support is our service.

CPA, Inc. was founded in 1992 with the following mission statement: “The ability to take advantage of the power of timely information lies in the successful implementation of complete, appropriately configured and properly installed financial and management computer systems.”

Contact Completed Programmed Accounting at: (317) 290-8702.  Email: The Complete Programmed Accounting Web site is located at:


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Photo courtesy of by nongpimmy

Another version of this blog was previously posted on August 31, 2015 on CPA, Inc.’s BLOG site. "ERP Search, Like Hiring An ‘Employee’ Approach, Part I"- CPA, Inc.'s ERP Blog


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