Last week, IQMS participated in its third ERP Vendor Shootout and we all agree that it was the best one yet. The organizers of the event - Brij and TEC - have done a very nice job in refining the script and screening the attendees to recommend the software systems that best fit them. In fact, this latest event turned around the quickest manufacturing plant visit and demonstration invitation yet - just hours after our first demonstration began!
If you have never been to an ERP Shootout, let me give you some background. Unlike a trade show, this event is reserved for invitation-only vendors. Each vendor is provided a demonstration room. Each demonstration is supposed to follow the same agenda. With multiple back-to-back, repeated demonstrations, attendees are able to sit in multiple presentations over a two-day period. Through this format, attendees can see multiple ERP vendors in a small time period who are reviewing essentially the same functional areas of their software systems. Do some vendors go off topic? Possibly. But because vendor representatives cannot attend the competitor sessions, it is up to the attendees to make that determination.
Feedback from the attendees whom we spoke with agreed that this was a useful forum for them. Their only drawback was that by the second day, they were having trouble discerning systems from each other. This is an expected outcome since they see a rapid fire agenda from five different software suppliers, with lots of screens and sales pitches, over a two-day period. A nice take-away for our team was in the form of kudos from attendees who let us know they were appreciative of the way IQMS followed the script, allowing for a vast amount of the EnterpriseIQ software to be quickly reviewed.
As national manufacturing numbers increase, even though the stocks fluctuate and talk of a recession still lingers, it was good to see manufacturing companies who are in the market for ERP software. What is interesting are the varied reasons from the companies who attended for the pursuit of a new ERP system. The common theme among those we talked with was their current lack of software growth and functionality. This was good to hear since it is one of the aspects that make our clients stay competitive. A few noted that they were curious about what other systems had to offer since they were on the fence of determining whether to pay for an upgrade with their existing system or take that money to another ERP system and start anew. Many also were curious about technological advancements - specifically smartphone and tablet apps. All-in-all, a pretty well-rounded collection of reasons for attending.
Hopefully, IQMS will be invited back to the next Shootout and it will be as well run and attended as this one was. On a personal note, it was good to finally meet PJ Jakovljevic after all these years of just talking to him on the phone. If you attended the event or plan to attend an upcoming event, I welcome your comments.
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