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A step-by-step guide to choosing the

right business
solution
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Contents: page:
Play it safe 1

Do your homework 2

Starting on the right track 4

1. Sponsoring the project 4

2. Employing an outside consultant 4

Scoping your project 6

3. Getting to know the business 6

4. Identifying business processes 6

5. Defining the scope of the project 7

Focusing on your requirements 8

6. Documenting your requirements 8

7. Identifying potential solutions 8

Choosing the right tool for the job 10

8. Running meaningful product demonstrations 10

9. Checking references 10

10. Making a decision 10

Getting the solution you need 12

On time, in scope, within budget 12


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Play it safe
Taking risks is an everyday part of life. We wouldnt even get Choosing a new business solution is a very big decision for a
out of bed if it werent. Of course, we all take small steps in company. Please dont make a mistake youll regret. Its well
order to mitigate the risks we encounter. Before we go to the worth taking a few precautions to set your selection project on
movies, we seek a recommendation. Before we cross the the right track. This booklet will be your guide. A little work at
road, we look left and right. To prevent theft, we lock our cars. the beginning of the project could save you a lot at the end.

But when the precaution makes a greater demand on our time


or money were less likely to take it. Even when the risks are
high. Instead, we do things that we may come to regret, like
working without safety equipment or driving too fast when Preben Damgaard, Joint CEO, Navision a/s
were late.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT BUSINESS SOLUTION 1


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Do your
homework
Faced with a 72% risk, most of us would take a few simple pre- ly before deciding on a solution. On average, they say, every
cautions. Especially if the stakes were high. According to the dollar you spend on pre-analysis saves you five during imple-
Standish Group, the IT research company, this is exactly the sit- mentation. Based on 130,000 customer projects, our own expe-
uation that companies installing new business software face. rience fits with this picture. A good pre-analysis of your business
A staggering 72% are unhappy with their installation. needs sets a project on course for success. It identifies all
avoidable risks, enabling you to choose the right solution the
The reason is that they havent done the proper research at first time, and get it delivered on time and within budget.
least not regarding their own problems and needs. So they
wind up with a software solution that doesnt fit. Not only does Such success is always achieved in the same, logical way.
this mean that the project scope has to be widened, it can also The steps described in this booklet have worked for many in
cause severe business interruption and plunging morale. the past and will work for many more in the future. Follow them
and you too can ensure that your solution meets your busi-
That is why AMR Research, another IT research company, ness needs.
strongly advises companies to investigate their needs through-

2 CHOOSING THE RIGHT BUSINESS SOLUTION


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CHOOSING THE RIGHT BUSINESS SOLUTION 3


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Starting

1. Sponsoring the project


A business software project is of strategic importance. The
eventual solution must fit with the future (as well as current)
direction of the business. The chief executive/general manager,
therefore, should sponsor the project. Drive from the top of the
organization will also help to create support for the project
and for the changes it may bring among employees. It is an
essential foundation for success.

2. Employing an outside
consultant
It is essential that, from the start, the selection process
focuses on identifying the needs of your business. Func-
tionality must come second. Most project failures are due to
functionality requirements being identified through a demon-
stration of what is available rather than on the basis of what
the business needs. The inevitable result is to implement a
software solution that does not support the operation of the
business. Working with an external consultant who is skilled in
mapping business processes ensures that you accurately
identify all core needs and find a solution that fits them.

4 CHOOSING THE RIGHT BUSINESS SOLUTION


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on the 1

right track
2

7
What to look for in a consultant
Puts business before technology. Trained in best practice methodology and 8
tools of business modeling.
Wants to involve you in the selection
process. Uses Universal Modeling Language so that
all parties can understand their models. 9
Offers complete documentation of selection
process. Has knowledge of your industry.
10

CHOOSING THE RIGHT BUSINESS SOLUTION 5


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3
Scoping your
4

5
proj
6
3. Getting to know the 4. Identifying business
7 business processes
The consultant needs to get to know your individual business. Discussions with managers will enable the consultant to map all
General management and core functional managers (like business processes in overview. (Deeper mapping of the main
8 inventory, production, finance and sales managers) should processes should come later.) The result will be a working
provide the overview. The IT department should work with the document, which will develop as you learn more about your
consultant regarding the feasibility of databases, operating company (or if your processes change). However, the consultant
9 systems and hardware. Seek the input of anyone else whose should be as accurate as possible in order to avoid discovering
support will be required for a successful implementation. significant additional requirements further into the project.

10

6 CHOOSING THE RIGHT BUSINESS SOLUTION


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ect
5. Defining the scope of
the project
Prioritize your business processes so that you can identify
which are within the scope of the project and which will have
to wait until next time. Dont bite off more than you can chew.
Set some measurable goals that will help you gauge the suc-
cess of the implementation in the short-term (for example,
reduce inventory and accounts receivable by 25%, eliminate
100 hours of manual processes). Experience has shown that,
being of a highly speculative nature, long-range return-on-
investment studies offer less value.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT BUSINESS SOLUTION 7


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Focusing on
req
6. Documenting your 7. Identifying potential
requirements solutions
Taking expected future initiatives into consideration, the con- Your consultant will map the list of required features onto the
sultant will translate your real business processes into soft- products he knows. He will then recommend a solution or
ware requirements. The result should be a complete list of solutions (off-the-shelf products plus customizations) that
features required to support the processes within the project match the needs of your business. If the consultant is also an
scope. User permissions should also be included. In addition, implementer, he should provide a preliminary budget and
you should document the key product characteristics that you timeframe. The budget should be detailed and easy to under-
want, such as low maintenance or high scalability. stand, and the timeframe should break the implementation
into a number of milestones. Consultants who don't implement
will provide approximations only.

8 CHOOSING THE RIGHT BUSINESS SOLUTION


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your 2

uirements 3

What to look for in an implementer 6


Has shown company stability (years in busi- support) that is appropriate for your size of
ness, turnover, size of installed base). company.
7
Has available personnel with the right quali- Has as many local/regional/international
fications and experience for your project. offices as you have.
8
Wants to involve you in the implementation Has a similar company culture to your own
process. (you will work closely with them over a long
period).
Uses a rigorous and documented implemen-
9
tation methodology (analysis, design, Offers references in your industry sector
testing, deployment, training and on-going and for similar size implementations.
10

CHOOSING THE RIGHT BUSINESS SOLUTION 9


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1
Choosing the
2

3 right tool
for the job
4

5 8. Running meaningful 9. Checking references


product demonstrations Check the reliability of the most promising implementer by
Based on your list of requirements, prepare a scorecard to calling some of their customers. Verify especially that the
6 help you compare each packages strengths and weaknesses. implementer has a habit of meeting time and budget con-
Demonstrations should simulate the way the business oper- straints. If they do not, the project team may lose focus and
ates, with information flowing in a logical order. To make it the implementation may never be complete. Three good re-

7 easier for all participants to comprehend product capabilities, ferences are enough.
actual data should be used where possible. The demonstra-
tion may also highlight new problems and perhaps cause you
to reassess your priorities. Ask as many questions as you 10. Making a decision
8 need to. Beware of implementers who offer you an evaluation
copy of the product to test on your own. Without good training If you still have more than one solution left on your list, choose
this will not be a valuable exercise. (If your consultant is not an the one that is easiest to learn, use and maintain and has the
9 implementer, they should recommend the best local imple- implementer with the best references.
menters with experience in your industry. You can also seek
recommendations directly from vendors.)

10

10 E-BUSINESS
CHOOSING ASRIGHT
THE STRATEGY
BUSINESS SOLUTION
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What to look for in a solution


Vendor profile. Check that the company nated of many bugs. If, however, you value
behind the product has a strong financial the competitive advantage that you can gain
position, targets companies of your size, from a relatively new product, a large cus-
covers your international locations and has tomer base may not be so important.
a product strategy that is likely to cover your
future needs. Stable code. Shortlisted vendors should have
a reputation for clean, stable code.
Underlying technology. Some popular products
have been around for years and appear to be Good customization capabilities. Some pro-
a good choice. Closer inspection reveals that ducts are easy to customize and some are
they are based upon aging and limiting tech- not. Try to select one that meets most of your
nologies. This may prevent the vendor from requirements off-the-shelf.
adding new functionality such as supply
chain integration, customization, Internet- Broad range of modules. Favor the products
enabled reporting, support for wireless with a wide variety of modules to avoid
devices or remote access. having to replace the system when the
company grows.
Customer base. A small customer base may
not provide enough revenue to support the Ease of use. Essential for the success of the
longevity of the product. On the other hand, software implementation and for keeping
a large customer base means that others training costs low.
have tested the product before you, and elimi-

CHOOSING THE RIGHT BUSINESS SOLUTION 11


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Getting the
you
On time, in scope, within
budget
By following the steps described in this booklet, you can make The Navision OnTarget methodology not only ensures that
sure that your software solution meets the needs of your busi- you get the solution you need, it ensures that you get it on time
ness. This success depends on a good pre-analysis phase, as and within the agreed budget.
described in step 4. Unless you have the specialist skills and
tools that you need to perform this planning phase in-house, To contact us, or to read further information about Navision,
you should hire a business consultant to help you. The visit www.navision.com.
Navision OnTarget methodology covers this crucial diagnos-

tic phase (see Figure 1), ensuring that the solution you need
is the solution you get. In the mid-market, only Navision pro-
vides its partners with a best practice methodology for plan-
ning as well as implementation.

12
12 CHOOSING THE RIGHT BUSINESS SOLUTION
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solution
need Figure 1: Navision OnTarget Methodology Planning Phases

Phase Qualifying &


Positioning
Diagnostic Proposal Commitment

Continue to
Implementation

Establish your com- Identify and docu- Agree on project Document expecta- Phase
NSC and patibility with the ment core business scope and deliver tions and deliver-
Navision Solution process, risks and detailed budget and ables
Customer Center hidden costs timeframe

Now that we use the Navision OnTarget methodology, Action


our planning is infinitely more accurate. For example, the
last project we completed came in 2.4% under budget on
a total of 1600 hours.

Roberto Juan Bertlez, AD Consulting


(Navision Solution Center)
Figure 2: Navision OnTarget Methodology Implementation Phases

The Diagnostic seemed like a more professional way of Phase Development Ongoing
Analysis Design Deployment
approaching the job. From an early stage we were able to & Testing Operations

work closely with the Navision Solution Center, which


gave us great confidence for the implementation phases.
They correctly identified all the issues we encountered Describe all business Fully describe all Develop and test Train end-users, Provide support
NSC and processes; identify business processes; customizations, convert data and
and, despite a very tight timeframe, the project was com- business process detailed design of interfaces and data launch system
Customer gaps, customizations, customizations, data conversion tools;
pleted on time and on budget. interfaces and data conversion tools and prepare business
Action conversions interfaces process manuals
Enrique Alonso, Grupo Pomar
(Customer)

CHOOSING THE RIGHT BUSINESS SOLUTION 13


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You will find


Navision
here

Australia
Austria
Baltic Region
Belgium
Brazil
Canada
Czech Republic
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Hungary
Iceland
India
Italy
Navision a/s is a leading global provider of cost-effective and adaptable integrated business solutions that
Netherlands
Norway help companies in their quest to grow. The company has more than 130,000 customers worldwide, a global
Poland
network of more than 2,250 partners, and around 1,100 employees in 29 countries. The Navision product line
Portugal
Russia consists of Navision Axapta, Navision Attain/Navision Financials, and Navision XAL. Navision a/s was created
Singapore
through the merger of Navision Software a/s and Damgaard A/S in December 2000. Its shares are listed on
Slovenia
South Africa the Copenhagen Stock Exchange (CSE: NAVI). The company is headquartered in Vedbaek, Denmark.
Spain
You can learn more about Navision a/s on the Internet at www.navision.com.
Sweden
Switzerland
Turkey
United Kingdom

W1-NV-5ABR
USA

Copyright 2002 Navision a/s, Frydenlunds All 6,


DK-2950 Vedbaek, Denmark.
The trademarks referenced herein and marked with
either TM
or are either trademarks or registered
trademarks of Navision a/s or Navision Development a/s.
Microsoft Windows 2000 is a trademark of
Microsoft Corporation. The names of actual
companies and products mentioned herein
may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
No part of this document may be reproduced or transmited
in any form or by any means, whole or in part without the
prior written permission of Navision a/s. Information in
this document is subject to change without notice. Any
rights not expressly granted herein are reserved.

www.navision.com
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