Having shortlisted, selected, implemented, integrated and worked with ERP in all walks of the apparel sector, our experts are uniquely qualified to add significant value to your ERP project – whether you’re replacing a legacy solution, or looking for something entirely new.
Our parent company, WhichPLM Limited, has established a name for itself by adhering strictly to three principles since it was founded in 2008. Our Services are impartial, we offer the most insightful range of content, and we make it our goal to open channels of communication between customers and suppliers, educating both in the process.
Working together with WhichPLM, the team here at WhichERP have set out to provide a complete service for the RFA organisation who wishes to embark upon an exciting Digital Transformation exercise.
Our ERP advisory services go far beyond the free education provided on the WhichERP on-line portal. As vital as our blogs, reviews, interviews and insights are to our army of long-standing readers and the hundreds of new audience members who arrive each week, our board of experts have come together to offer something beyond that scope.
All our experts have been actively involved in the boardrooms, design rooms, and international satellite offices of some of the world’s biggest and best known brands and retailers in the role of trusted, impartial advisors. Whether they produce a beautiful, boutique product line or find themselves at the head of a multinational corporation, those retailers and brands are already turning to WhichERP to help them make sense of a crowded marketplace – because the people behind our brand don’t just write about the fashion industry; they live it. Day in and day out.
As of 2014, several hundred different ERP software vendors claim to cater specifically for the needs of retail, footwear and apparel. Navigating that marketplace – beset by spin and advertising on all sides – can be a daunting prospect, and that’s before you even begin to consider the kind of time, effort, introspection, financial outlay and risk that goes into a typical ERP shortlisting, selection and implementation project.
The main face of WhichERP and WhichPLM – our online magazines and annual downloadable publications – have always been intended to educate and inform people who, like yourselves, may be struggling to make sense of their own internal processes as much as they are the software landscape. No less vital to the growth of WhichERP, though, has been our direct involvement helping companies to achieve efficiency and, ultimately, profitability through informed investments in technology.
At WhichERP, we provide pragmatic and impartial advise to compliment your in-house skills, and to help you to build a team and a company fashioned for the future. Below is an overview of what kind of advisory services we offer to companies who may be considering an investment in ERP.
We know that ERP works, because our team members have been on the “shop floor”, we helped to create some of the leading fashion oriented ERP applications and we been involved in many justifications, selections and implementations. We understand the need to choose the most suitable solution for your unique needs, and implement it in every corner of the globe. But we recognise, more than most clients, that getting there – or even beginning to explain the destination in the first place – is far from simple.
You feel you need ERP; we know how to quantify that need, and how to transform your desire for cost and efficiency savings into concrete, realistic results – understandable for everyone involved, from the designer to the executive.
So, whether it’s simply educating your team on the benefits of ERP, sitting close beside you as you select the right solution,begin putting it in place or to perform independent checks during and after your implementation, WhichERP can help.
Together, our advisors have shortlisted, selected, or implemented ERP solutions from the majority of vendors in the marketplace. We maintain good relationships with every supplier, but our mantra has always been that the best solution is the right one for your specific needs. Our long standing integrity means that we retain our clients’ best interests at heart – right the way from planning and education to selection, and from initial justification to post implementation reviews.
TYPICAL CONSULTATION AREAS, PROCESSES, AND CHALLENGES
Although each and every ERP project is as unique as the business implementing it, there are many areas in which retailers, brands and manufacturers of all shapes and sizes face broadly similar challenges. Throughout our history, we’ve grown accustomed to swiftly identifying both the similarities and the differences between client needs, and we are extremely well-equipped to help you handle whatever hurdles your own project sends your way. Here are a few of the highlights:
- ERP/ PLM digital transformation
- Strategic System Replacement Planning
- Planning and guiding ERP selection
- Process maturity (“as is” and “to be”)
- Detailed introspection and analysis
- Refer for Information (“RFI”) preparation
- Refer for Proposal (“RFP”) preparation
- Solution benchmarking (ERP and PLM)
- Management and executive report writing
- Shortlisting, demonstration and selection
- Education across the extended supply chain
- Return on Investment (“ROI”) analysis
- Direct correspondence with suppliers
- Impartial customer reference visits
- Project / post implementation reviews
- Vendor and solution agnostic
INDEPENDENT IS IMPORTANT
At WhichERP we are proud of our steadfast independence. Our advisors receive no commission or introductory fees from any supplier, and the only influence we exert over our clients’ selection process is to steer them in the direction we believe is right for them. As a result, we have worked on behalf of retailers, brans and manufacturers from around the world as trusted advisors.
WHY USE ADVISORS
Selecting the right ERP/ PLM strategy and solution for you requires a great deal of your resources and commitment. And this is only a fraction of that which will be needed to actually implement the same product once selected. No doubt you will have heard one or more ERP horror stories – there are certainly plenty out there – but often these neglect a key aspect of the failures they document: they lay the blame entirely at the vendors’ feet. In fact, while the suppliers themselves are often not squeaky clean, scope creep, poor project management, and a lack of focus on the part of the customer are often just as responsible for project overruns and failures.
Once you have notified suppliers you are on the market, we liken their response to a feeding frenzy. When you begin to run an ERP selection process, as a customer, you will encounter dynamic and driven sales professionals whose main motivation is to get you to sign a contract, with all the risk on your side of the equation.
We have seen this happen time and again, and our advisors are uniquely equipped to supplement your internal skills and knowledge to minimise the risks involved and instead to make the most informed investment possible in your company’s future.
In our role as trusted advisors, we see it as our responsibility to safeguard the interests of our clients with the benefit of our experience, they can make informed decisions safe in the knowledge that their current processes, future goals, and overall business objectives are being assessed and supported by industry experts.
“It can be easy for retailers, brands and manufacturers to assume that shortlisting and selecting ERP will be straightforward. The following are just some of the reasons that, in my experience, conspire to make it anything but.
- Not All Suppliers Are Equal
There are hundreds of ERP suppliers who all claim to cater for the RFA industry. A truly independent advisor is best suited to helping you compare and evaluate the market.
- Not All Consultants Are Equal
Few (if any) clients have the expertise and experience in-house to do a detailed ERP selection. Any advisor you choose, though, must be wholly impartial.
- You don’t know what you don’t know
It is essential to create a detailed statement of requirements for a solution which will satisfy your ERP needs now and in the future. This is something best handled by an objective advisor.
- You cannot assume anything
If you hope the ERP products you select will cover your requirements as standard, you may be taking too much for granted. An independent advisor will know for certain.
- Remove Silos of Information
Between ERP, PLM, EPOS, CRM etc. there are many ways in which data can be duplicated. Working with an independent advisor, companies can plan interfaces and data integration ahead of time.
- Plan the Selection Process
Scientifically sound research and analysis methods – like those we use here at WhichERP – are essential when it comes to choosing a solution. Understanding your own business can ease the challenge of figuring out the right solution for your needs, and quantifying the return on your investment.”
Bill Isherwood – WhichERP Advisory Board.
For more information contact us.