While an ERP has become an essential tool for businesses that simplifies, streamlines, and automates processes, selecting the right one for your company can be not just overwhelming, but lengthy.
Before you decide on any one ERP solution, there are a few factors to consider and evaluate:
Desirable Functionality of the ERP
The first step you need to take is to have a clear understanding what you need the ERP system to do. For this, you will need to talk to everyone who will use the ERP system once it’s installed – right from the senior managers down to the end users. An enterprise resource planning solution usually operates across several departments, so make sure you get inputs from all those departments, and create a list of requirements. Once that is done, you need to start categorizing them – decide which are the most essential, the ones which would be good to have, and the ones you could do without – which would only benefit a few. When this task is complete, you will have a clearer idea about comparing different ERP solutions. This is likely to
The ERP software you purchase and implement should be aligned to your business goals. Therefore, you need to try and see how a new ERP system will help your business to achieve its short, and long-term goals; for example, your short-term goal may be to improve employee productivity, and long-term goal is tapping into new markets and increasing your customer base. This process will not take as much time as the first step, as you don’t have to consult every end user; rather only those who will be able to envisage how the ERP solution will help them achieve their business goals.
As ERP software is one of the most important pieces of the system structure of any business, you need to think about how its implementation will affect your current software, and whether it will all work well in cohesion or not. In other words, you need to ensure that the ERP system you purchase is capable of integrating with your current systems; without this, you are likely to face a lot of problems, and expense.
Its imperative that you have a proper understanding of how much training your team to be able to utilize the ERP system to its full potential. If the learning curve is too steep, you need to consider if it is worth spending that much time, effort and money on just getting trained in that particular software. Ensure your ERP is intuitive, and takes less effort to master.
Future Tech Readiness
Check out your vendor’s preparedness for technological disruption, and how well they have been adapting to technological breakthroughs till now. This is important, because the ERP technology may also undergo a radical change, and your vendor should be capable of upgrading your system, so that you are not left standing by yourself when the competition makes big strides forward.
Whether it’s a movie, a restaurant, our software, getting the review from people who have actually experienced/used the product is a great way to form an opinion. Check out reviews online, and seek references from other businesses in your industry, to get a good idea about the different ERP solutions available in the market. Having references from previous customers will help you greatly to realize the actual benefits and disadvantages a specific ERP software presents.
Last, but definitely the least important, you need to consider the budget. After all, you need to get a software solution that your business can afford. It would be a wise idea not to choose the least expensive – you may have to sacrifice some essential functionality; you will need to strike a balance between cost and functionality. Most importantly, check if it is a good fit for the specific needs of your business.