As Asj Smith, our Microsoft Sales Manager at Fusion5 (Australia), observed: “You don't get up in the morning one day and decide to spend $X million on a project that’s going to dominate the next two years of your life without very good and very specific reasons.”  

Yet, out of the hundreds of RFPs (Request for Proposal) we respond to each year from businesses and organisations wanting a new ERP, very few successfully articulate their real-life reasons for change and capture the things you care about.  

The outcome? You get cookie-cutter responses from all the partners you ask to tender, making it difficult to differentiate between them. As a result, no one shines, no one looks better than another, or can demonstrate a better understanding of your needs and how to deliver results that will make that critical difference to your business. 

What are the most common (and generic) business issues we see in RFPs?

These are typical ERP RFP wish-list items that businesses ask us to respond to - time after time.  

  1. We want to move on from the limitations of using multiple, disparate non-integrated systems and run the entire organisation on one ERP  
  2. We want to move away from a reliance on manual business processes (mostly done in Excel), and streamline them through automation  
  3. We need easy reporting and forecasting to help with decision-making  
  4. We want to future-proof our business by moving off our legacy on-premises ERP and onto the cloud  
  5. We need to modernise our approach to inventory  
  6. We want more visibility and access to all our data – and a single version of the truth  
  7. We want to streamline our asset management  

Why do we find these statements so frustrating?

While we don’t exactly roll our eyes when we see those lists (we wouldn’t be so rude), we do know that answering them as they are is doing you no favours.  

We already know that 99.9% of all businesses that issue an RFP want the same outcomes. For example, to automate processes wherever possible, to have a single source of truth, to streamline your process and consolidate systems.  

These outcomes are a given, almost a by-product of change. And yes, they are incredibly important, but they’re not necessarily what you and your business really care about.  

It's the things that you don’t list in your RFP document that we care about. And if these unexpressed priorities (which the business stakeholders and departments may not even have discussed and agreed on internally) aren’t in your RFP, and you have no engagement process where partners can find out more, then we will all submit the same response.  

So, we all look the same. And you have little opportunity to equip yourself to choose the right partner for your project. In some ways, you could throw a dart at a list of names and get the same outcome – but more quickly. 

Moving forward, is there a better way to manage the RFP process? 

The truth – let us at it!

It's our job to get to the truth of what you need and why. These are, given the chance, the four questions we want to ask you so we can respond with the best possible solutions, approaches, and outcomes.

1. What are your business challenges/project drivers?

This question/answer process enables us to summarise our understanding of your project’s business and operational drivers. We learn what challenges or limitations have prompted you to want to change and what’s caused your business pains. We deep dive into the "why" behind your search for a new ERP. For example: You’re experiencing inaccurate demand forecasts due to volatile raw materials prices. 

2. What impact do you expect? 

Once we’ve established your business challenges/project drivers, we can summarise the issues impacting your business and establish the potential economic impact of resolving them. So, for example: With the ability to properly plan production resources and maximise plant capacity, we estimate you can save ‘x’  hundreds of thousands per annum.

3. What new capabilities do you need? 

To address your project objectives and eliminate business pains, we identify and summarise the most frustrating aspects of your current business system and the new capabilities that will address your challenges/issues. For example: Improved visibility into scheduling and capacity availability and Improved inventory management. 

4. What are your anticipated business outcomes? 

This section summarises what you anticipate as the project business benefits and how they will impact the business today. Also, we determine how you can/will measure the impact to determine if this investment will deliver a return on investment – and what that should be. For example: Improved capacity utilisation (13% improvement target) and (X%) reduction in raw materials inventory levels. 

Tell us what you want, what you really, really want

When we can ask these questions (and get in-depth answers), we can more clearly understand your priorities and the biggest and most important wins you need to chalk up to justify your investment. 

By presenting us with the opportunity to validate that we have a solution/answer to your primary challenges, we can often make a significant difference to your budget (which is always a win!). This approach takes the guesswork out of what needs to be delivered – and how. And it quickly sorts out the right partner for your project, so you waste less time and money on the RFP process and start your transformation as you mean to go on. That is, with clear, well-defined, and achievable goals. 

Submit an RFP 

Great outcomes start with great conversations


Great outcomes start with great conversations

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