ERP solutions are designed to help company management make important business decisions in a timely manner. You will be able to focus on and improve business processes which directly impact profitability and would materialize significant cost savings. When choosing ERP you need to be aware of its different aspects like user friendliness and hosted VS cloud solution. Therefore, selecting ERP solution requires careful consideration of different elements, involves a lot of decision making and the company has to allocate significant budgets for the actual purchase.
Here are some of the most important rules to keep in mind when choosing an ERP solution for your business.
Match Company Requirements with ERP Solution
ERP solutions are developed as per the nature of the companies and the industries in which they work. In order to choose the right solution, you must first carefully evaluate the reasons why you are considering an ERP system. Evaluate your organizational requirements and business processes involved. The size of the business also matters a great deal. You can find ERP systems for small, medium or large sized business organizations. You will be able to conveniently and efficiently perform some of the most important organizational functions using ERP like inventory management and financial management among others. Make sure that you understand what the ERP will do for your business and if it successfully fulfills the requirements.
Evaluate SaaS Solution in Your Assessments
ERP market takes time to change as it has to respond to the evolving business ecosystem. New developments have made SaaS viable for premise based solutions. Normally TCO for SaaS based solutions is much lower. They can be easily and quickly deployed. The main advantage of having a premise-based solution is that it offers more security and ensures greater data control.
Compare Strengths of ERP Vendors
There are so many ERP vendors out there that choice can become difficult. In order to proceed with your decision, compare the features offered by different ERP systems. Make sure to evaluate in detail the offerings of different vendors. Create roadmaps of the different ERPs available in the market and see if they fit your company’s long term strategic vision. Ask some of the toughest business questions straight away so you are not in for any surprises.
Think About Long Term
ERP solutions are long term commitments. Do not fall for the short route and make sure to think about the future. Select an ERP solution which is flexible enough to grow with your company’s expansion. Consider it as a long term investment in your business. Therefore flexibility must be considered as a key ingredient when selecting an ERP system. The ERP system must also be able to accommodate additional users and support new functionalities as per your business requirements.
Evaluate Your Existing Network
One of the most important questions to ask is that if the ERP solution you are selecting would abode well with your current infrastructure. You may need to install a new premise-based server which can run the software. Similarly, SaaS based solution may also need additional network bandwidth. Choose ERP solution that is compatible with your existing infrastructure.
Consider Add-ons or Other Software Solutions Provided by Vendor
When you are procuring an ERP system from a company, it usually also offers other software. For example, you may want to have a CRM system integrated with your ERP and might need a company that offers CRM as an added software. This CRM package will help you manage your business better.
Measure TCO (Total Cost of Ownership)
You would either pay a monthly subscription or total cost for the ERP. The total cost of ownership for any ERP solution includes customization, management and complete implementation as per your organizational needs. The training cost is sometimes considerably higher depending on your organization’s size and complexity of the ERP that needs to be installed.
Always Insist on Demo
No matter what promises your ERP vendor makes to you, never just believe in hearsay or a quick demonstration. Always ask for a detailed demo and evaluate all the features that the vendor has originally promised while keeping your organizational requirements in perspective. If you are large organization with several departments, include relevant stakeholders from these departments who will be using ERP solution and use them for various business processes.
Hire An ERP Consultant
The usual cost of implementing an ERP system is very high. Hire an unbiased ERP consultant who can evaluate your company’s requirements and see if the particular solution that you are about to deploy will serve the purpose. An objective and knowledgeable approach by the ERP consultant will further confirm your choice.
Incur Cost Only On Modules You Need
ERP packages have a lot of modules. When you choose ERP solution, only select the modules you require. You can add more modules whenever there is a need. Therefore, do not unnecessarily spend money on modules that you may or may not require in the future. The cost saved here can be utilized elsewhere.