The Software Selection Process for a Life Sciences ERP Implementation
Updated: May 25, 2020
Selecting a software vendor to provide the new ERP solution for a pharmaceutical or medical device company is a detailed process that has an enormous impact on the business for years to come. There is a normal process in the industry that, when followed, allows all participants in the selection to perform to and rely on a given set of expectations. The high level process consists of the following milestones:
The Life Sciences company develops a Request for Proposal (RFP)
A "long-list" of vendors is determined to which you distribute the RFP. In some cases, this is to one or more Value Added Resellers (VAR) for a given software rather than the direct solution provider
Vendors respond to the RFP in written form
Vendor responses are evaluated by the company Software Selection Committee and a vendor "short-list" is determined based on the criteria to meet business requirements and understanding of the Life Sciences Industry, including FDA Validation, GxP processes, working with 3rd Party Logistical Firms (3PLs), working with Contract Manufacturing Organizations (CMOs), working with Contract Packaging Organizations (CPOs), and working with Contract Research Organizations (CROs)
Discovery calls or on-site visits are scheduled with the "short-list" vendors
On-site (usually) vendor demonstrations are scheduled and performed
The Software Selection Committee evaluates vendor demonstrations against business requirements.
Follow up calls or function specific demos and Q&A sessions are scheduled, if needed
Taking into account the RFP responses (which include vendor information, implementation methodology and high-level cost estimations) and the vendor demonstrations, a vendor's solution is "selected"
The timeline for the above will likely span 2 months, but can be condensed by utilizing previous knowledge of software applications relative to business requirements. Arriving at a decision on a vendor (and VAR) in rapid form may be required based on the business need.
From there, negotiations begin, teams are built, and the project is planned.
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