is a client for every ERP solution, but how do you identify the vendor
that considers your company as its ideal candidate? Different vendors
target different industries, markets, and specialize in certain areas
more than others. While it is good to identify vendors that work within
your industry (Refer to the Industry Focus column of the TechnologyEvaluation.com
it is also important to review the products that support a similar set
of functionality to your company's requirements. To this end, TEC prepares
page of graphs for each company in the vendor showcase. The graphs
specify the ideal candidate for each vendor based on the vendor's strongest
areas. By reviewing these graphs and then using TEC's ERP
Evaluation Center's WebTESS tool, you can determine how closely the
functionality your organization requires, aligns with an ERP vendor's
the Ideal Candidate Page
each high-level criterion in the TEC ERP Evaluation Center's knowledge
base, there are four graphs. The first two graphs are baseline graphs.
In the baseline graphs TEC normalizes all criteria to an equal relevance,
which allows you to see how a vendor's product scores on its own merit,
without regard to any one module taking precedence over another. By checking
the vendor's results against a normalized baseline, you clearly see the
modules and functionality on which the vendor puts the most emphasis.
second set of graphs is prioritized according to groups of criteria. TEC
adjusts the baseline in these graphs so that it corresponds to each vendor's
focus. The prioritized graphs make the vendor's strengths stand out against
its weaknesses. A group of criteria increases or decreases its contribution
to the vendor's scores according to the type of support the vendor provides.
you go through the graphs for a vendor, notice that in each set of graphs
(the baseline pair and the prioritized pair) there is a global priority
bar graph and a contribution analysis spider graph. You can look at the
global priority graph and by glancing at the height of its bars, see the
criteria that are the vendor's greatest strengths. By comparing the baseline
graphs to the contribution analyses you will see what the vendor supports
in relation to a benchmark of the criterion's optimal contribution.
may look at the ideal candidate pages for several different vendors, see
one that seems to match very closely with your requirements and suppose
this vendor's solution is aimed at your type of company. Be aware of the
perspective from which you consider the criteria; let's consider Relevant
first thing we see looking at Relevant's ideal candidate profile is the
overall global priority baseline (Figure 1). This graph shows the functionality
under consideration for the Relevant product where each of its factors
have an equal priority. In other words, if the Financials, Human Resources
(HR), Manufacturing Resources, Inventory Management, Purchasing Management,
Sales Management, and Product Technology groups were all just as important
to your company, Relevant's modules would satisfy the requirements in
each criteria according to its contribution analysis graph below (Figure
graphs in figures one and two are useful primarily as a way of seeing
the raw results of what Relevant's solutions support.
get a better idea of the top-supported areas in Relevant's product, you
should look to the prioritized graphs (Figures 3 and 4).
4 shows that we adjusted the comparison benchmark to make it follow a
path similar to Relevant's strengths and weaknesses. The prioritized global
priorities bar graph (Figure 3) shows that Relevant's strongest point
is Manufacturing Management, while its weakest area is human resources.
Using only these graphs for an ideal Relevant customer, and the data available
in the ERP Evaluation Center's
knowledge base, we can determine a lot about the areas for which Relevant's
systems are most suited.
perspective that you use to consider each Ideal Candidate graph makes
a big difference toward how you judge the vendor's strengths and weaknesses.
We cannot first look at the Human Resources module (Figures 5 and 6),
see that its Payroll Management criteria extends all the way to the edge
of graph and then assume Relevant offers an excellent system for payroll
management. We have to start our assumptions at the highest-level of criteria
(Figures 1 and 2), compare the individual modules against each other,
and consider them against a normalized benchmark.
with the high-level view, Relevant seems to support most of the criteria.
Figures 3 and 4 on the other hand, show a steep drop for the Human Resources
on Figures 5 and 6, we see that Relevant's system supports only the Payroll
group of criteria in the HR module. Essentially, a human resources module
is not part of Relevant's focus. Considering that Relevant's least supported
module is Human Resources, it might seem strange that the payroll section
extends to the edge of its graph. We will see however, from a quick comparison
to its scores in The ERP Evaluation Center that it is wrong to assume
the graph means Relevant provides a fully-featured payroll system. A vendor
may have a very high score in one group of criteria because it supports
a lot of that group's functionality, these features however, might not
be included with the type of support you are seeking.
this by selecting Relevant in your WebTESS project and checking the needs
you've prioritized. You can quickly recognize whether your company has
similar priorities to an ideal candidate for Relevant. If, for example,
your company will not need its system to address personnel management
or benefit management, but does need it to take care of payroll management
then the Relevant solution might initially look like a good fit for your
your company is seeking a solution that offers excellent support for payroll
management but does not need any of the other features under the human
resources criterion. In Relevant's case, you will notice that every rating
in the Earnings and Deductions section of its Payroll group is a "modification."
Compare this to another vendor, for example, the Oracle E-Business
Suite, which has a "supported" rating for each criterion, it is now
easy to see that while Relevant gets a high score for Payroll in its own
ideal candidate profile, it does not support all the functionality a company
might need from the perspective of finding a Payroll system.
highlights two important things to understand before coming to a conclusion
about the functionality a company supports. First, part of the reason
Relevant's graph appears very high in the payroll section is that the
other criteria of the Human Resources benchmark were set to zero to show
what Relevant addresses and what it does not. This means that the amounts
these criteria contribute to the Human Resources module as a whole, are
redistributed to Payroll, hence the importance of payroll as a criterion
is much higher in HR than it would otherwise be. Second, by checking the
individual criteria of the Human Resources section in The ERP Evaluation
Center, we determined exactly what was supported.
you were comparing Relevant against another vendor whose ideal candidate
profile also excelled in the Payroll area you would want to see to what
degree each supported the Payroll Management criteria. Researching the
specific criteria the vendor supports based on its ideal candidate profile
should illuminate why a vendor would or would not consider your company's
requirements ideal for what its product supports. For example, we see
from the overview of the high-level criteria (Figures 1 and 2) in the
Ideal Candidate Profile that Human Resources was not the best area to
consider for supported features from Relevant, rather we should analyze
the product from the perspective of its Manufacturing Management functionality.
fact, when all criteria are given an equal priority (the normalized benchmark
in Figure 2). Relevant's Inventory Management and Purchasing Management
scores are not far behind its Manufacturing Management score. These groups
of criteria do not have any higher level groups that could influence their
contribution to the graph, so we should look at these as the real strengths
of Relevant's system.
on Manufacturing Management
has a number of strengths such as Inventory Management, but its strongest
point is clearly its Manufacturing Management module; let's examine the
module. Figure 8 shows that Manufacturing Management extends the furthest
from the center of the Contribution Analysis baseline graph. Figures 7
and 8, show the areas of Manufacturing Management that contribute most
to the overall score.
of the groups of criteria within Manufacturing Management are well supported.
Consider how Relevant supports each group, we can see that while Product
Costing contributes the most to the Manufacturing Results score, Relevant
also has a high-level of support for many of the features available in
Shop Floor Control. In particular, Relevant offers support for more than
half the group of criteria (in Shop Floor Control) concerning Quality
Control and Hazmat reporting.
your company is seeking a solution that emphasizes Manufacturing Management
as one of its strong points, you would want to research Relevant. By starting
from the highest-level graph, the prioritized contribution analysis in
Figure 4, we quickly determined the main areas that Relevant supports.
Once you concentrate on a product's capabilities from the perspective
of its strongest modules, you can get a good idea of what sort of customer
the vendor would like to support.
Relevant Business Systems, this article demonstrates how to use the TEC
ERP Evaluation Center's WebTESS tool to quickly determine how closely
the functionality your organization requires aligns with an ERP vendor's