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Simplifying Your ERP Decision Process

Cheesecake – Cake or Pie?

I was recently at dinner with a client when he asked the people at the table, “Is cheesecake a cake or a pie?” We all had a good laugh while people pondered. He encouraged us to not overthink this lofty question and just “go with (our) gut.” But, it was hard not to give this one some more serious and deep consideration. Trust me on this – I spent more time than I care to admit searching for the correct answer on Google.   

It made me think about our ERP projects and how clients will get stuck while making decisionsIt is not because they aren’t smart or experienced or capable. I work with extremely smart peopleBut for a team or group of very smart people to come to a consensus around a decision can be difficult. And a decision is what is required to push an ERP project forward.  

The first step is to determine what decision needs to be made. This may sound like a no brainer, but oftentimes people get off trackInstead of clearly defining the problem that needs to be solved, people often go right into the problem-solving.  

After determining the problem, the next step is to decide what level of effort is required to find the solution. Is it something simple in which you can just go with your gut or do you need to use a decision analysis tool?   

For a decision like changing or implementing an ERP system, you must first outline your criteria. For many years I’ve used the must/want decision analysis method. It is quite simple – have the group make a list on a whiteboard of what criteria MUST they have in their ERP system and what features do they WANT to have.  You can put a weight to the wants if some are more important than the others, but I like to just keep it simple.  See below for an example: 


Option 1  Option 2  Option 3  Option 4 

Support serialized inventory 



Support lot management 


Able to deploy within 12 months 




Cost to implement within budget  YES  YES  YES 




Has mobile functionality 

1  1   


Cloud based system  0  1   


Ability to add modules as needs arise  1  1     
TOTAL SCORE  2  3  0  0 

In this example Option 2 is the clear winner.  There is no need to even evaluate the wants in options 3 and 4 because they don’t meet our musts.  Laying out the criteria and using data to score it takes the emotion out of decision making and makes it much easier for the team to reach consensus. Not all decisions will require this level of effort but if it is an important decision and the team seems to be struggling, this is a great tool.  

Once you have a decision, it’s time to get to work!  Now you need to implement the solution you decided upon.  Depending on the problem and the solutionit is good to do some risk analysis and have some contingency plans or support system in place for any bumps you may encounter.   

Don’t forget to celebrate the team after implementation, maybe with cheesecake.  

In my experiencepeople want to do the right thing; they just need some guidance.  Using the must/want analysis tool will help a team come to a decision they can get behindDealing with big decisions can be scary, but once the decision is made, you can feel confident that you did your due diligence, using the necessary dataand have the best solution possible.   

Keep in mind this quote by Marcus Tullius Cicero “More is lost by indecision than wrong decision” and don’t overthink it! 

If you would like to find out why Revolution Group has been a trusted Plex ERP consulting partner for more than 20 years, call us at 614-212-1111 or reach us at [email protected]. We would love to discuss how to simplify your ERP implementation or answer any questions you may have about changing your ERP.