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​The EBR Implementation Guide: Part 2 – Selecting a suitable EBR

User Requirements ​​
When you are considering a new EBR system there are a number of things to consider. Chief among these is how well the solution fits with your intended use. A clear set of requirements will allow you to compare solutions from different suppliers and select the one that best meets your needs. To begin with, consider the process that you want to automate with the EBR. What are the pain points with the way you currently operate and then prioritise these to get your list of requirements. Prepare a checklist to review with each supplier and this allows you to score each solution.

Supplier capability
Don’t just look at the features of the solution when considering each supplier’s offering. You will be needing advice, support and maintenance from your supplier most likely for the duration that you use their product so you really need to consider how well the supplier will fit in with you. What are the people like who you will be working with. Do they understand your business, do they take time to consider your specific needs and can you build a relationship that will allow you to collaborate when implementing and supporting the solution.

Matching client and supplier development plans​
Most manufacturing companies are not fixed at a particular size and shape, they have growth and expansion plans. Consider this when selecting a supplier and their products. How well will they support you as you grow? You might need to start small with only a few users and add more later and you may want only the basic features in the first implementation but you want to be able to add additional features such as integration to other equipment and systems later on. How will the supplier accommodate these needs and how does the pricing fit with a start small and grow requirement? Will the additional features you want be available now or will the software need to be customised. It is always a good idea to understand the suppliers roadmap and whether their development plans align with how your company will be developing

Options to try and test the solution
One way to get a really good understanding about how well the suppliers solution will work for you is to try it. Some suppliers allow you to have a free trial where you use their solution for a short time at your own convenience and test out the features. If they can do that with an example of your typical production process in the system then it is even more useful. There may also be an opportunity to run a low cost proof of concept/value project, say for a few weeks, to use the software with your own internal staff and run an EBR alongside your paper process. You could build this into your supplier selection process.

Ease of Implementation
A critical consideration when selecting an EBR solution and supplier is how easy it will be to implement the solution and start the get business benefits. Does the supplier provide training and how easy is it to learn to use the solution. How is the training delivered and how quickly will it take your staff to learn to use it confidently. After understanding the training methods, you should consider what a typical implementation project would look like with each supplier. How much involvement is required from the suppliers staff? How much can you do with your own staff? And critically how easy will validation of the software be?
When you have worked through the ideas and tips above, you will be in a great position to select an EBR solution that is the best fit for your company.
 

Summary supplier selection process

 

Our top tips from this guide are summarised here:​

  • Collect pain points from your current process
  • Build a clear set of requirements
  • Prepare a checklist to review with suppliers
  • Build supplier capabilities into the checklist
  • Consider your growth plans and how they will affect your requirements
  • Review the supplier’s roadmap and attitude to customisation and development
  • Look for options to try before you buy – POC’s and Pilot projects
  • Understand the implementation needs and a typical project

Check out ​other chapters

Read for our next articles in this serie in which we will provide more advice about implementing an Electronic Batch Recording system.

​The EBR Implementation Guide: Introduction

Part 1:

Tips on scoping the initial EBR deployment

Part 3:

POC's, POV's, Trials

Part 4:

Kick-off to Go-live with your 1st Product on EBR in 2 months

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