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  • Writer's pictureTek Siong, Hock

Top 10 Questions to ask your ERP vendors in Malaysia

Updated: Mar 5, 2021

The Old Saying - There is no "One-Size Fit All", still hold true, for ERP software in the market.

With the abundance of ERP software choices in Malaysia, SME business are often in the dilemma when opting for the best ERP software to run their business, especially when those out-of-box Accounting software is no longer suited to their needs.

Here you go, for the top 10 Questions to ask.

1) Cloud Vs On-Premise

Cloud solution is gaining huge traction in Malaysia, especially so for SME business, which would very much ditch the idea of hosting server in their office premise.

The main benefit of On-Premise hosting is in the event of internet connectivity break down, the software is still accessible via the local network. This risk has been mitigated by the large availability of the mobile internet (Maxis, Celcom, Digi, etc) by most business users.

Several factors to consider are:

  • Location of Data center (hosted in Malaysia Vs Oversea)

  • Cloud upgrade or maintenance window downtime

  • Server storage, processor spec and bandwidth limit

2) Mobile-friendly (mobile browser or mobile app)

A big red flag if the ERP doesn't support at least mobile browser or mobile app, on top of the standard desktop browser support.

Run, if there is only desktop application version available for your ERP.

A "Good-To-Have" feature in modern ERP software is that customization for the desktop version should reflected in the mobile version automatically, without duplicate customization effort.

3) Local in-house developed software Vs Multinational Software

One misconception is that the local developed ERP is always cheaper than the multinational one. There are many mid or low range multinational ERP that the price point is on par with the local developed ERP.

Several factors to consider are:

  • Compliance to local regulatory requirement

  • Software product road-map and sustainability

  • Flexibility to customize to your needs

4) Industry Specific Solution

If you are in the niche industry like Logistics, Automotive, Property & Construction, etc, as oppose to the Trading & Distribution and Professional Service, you are better off looking for ERP with industry specific solution.

5) Product demo and access

Ask for a product demo.

Many traditional ERP software do not provide the demo system access, but while those that do, deserve your extra brownie points.

6) Pricing

This is probably the most important point, which would potentially have a long term pitfall.

Pricing components varies, such as:

  • Monthly or Annual Subscription. The model is usually for cloud ERP, and depending on the number of users and the duration of the contract.

  • One-Off Perpetual license. This model is usually for on-premise ERP, which sometimes come with annual maintenance fee (must ask).

  • Implementation Fee. One-time price for the effort of customization, migration and setup.

  • Annual Maintenance Fee, if any, from the vendor bug support.

  • Software Upgrade Fee, if any, which sometimes can costs an arm and a leg.

  • Support Fee. Good to know beforehand what will be the rate for any future ERP customization or for operational support.

7) Customer references

Everybody loves to ask this. This could help you to understand if the vendor has experiences in your industry or processes.

8) Software Product Features and Road-Map inline with Your future business expansion

Does the ERP has a long term product road-map and upgrade?

Did you see the features upgrade in the past 12 months?

Are the features and functionalities available in a single system or required multiple different systems, and requiring integration?

If your business is going to expand in 3 years, what would be the software features (eg, Social media Marketing, E-Commerce, CRM, etc) that you may be required?

9) Delivery team

The most underrated factor to consider for high stake ERP software.

A big fallacy is assuming that a vendor company with the customer reference will assigned the same experienced team to your project. Interview the delivery team, if needed.

10) Local Support

I have came across some companies who couldn't find local IT resources to support their operation. You will have a better sleep if you know there are alternative local vendor available.

As usually, treat your ERP vendor as your long term IT solution partner, to grow along with your business.

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