As many companies are using different kinds of software to manage their business processes, selecting the right ERP system for their company should be done carefully. Here are 15 tips for choosing an Enterprise Resource Planning System that will ensure maximum benefits for their company.
1) Identify the need correctly: It might look like an obvious tip, but it is one of the most important ones. Unfortunately, many businesses tend to go with what they think is best instead of identifying their exact needs first. As a result, there are quite a number of companies who end up complaining about not receiving enough returns on investment. This happens because they do not understand their own needs clearly and hence try to match those needs with available options in the market, which might lead them nowhere near success.
2) Use standards: ERP systems come with defined standards and best practices. It is advisable to consider the vendor’s recommendations while deciding on the product. This can be helpful in minimizing risks that might affect customers’ impression of the product later.
3) Keep it simple: While implementing an enterprise resource planning system, businesses often focus on some processes over others resulting in incomplete data entry, eventually leading to incorrect information about the company’s business. Keeping it simple means identifying all their business needs before they start the implementation process, however big or small they are. Also, if there are some standard operating procedures (SOPs) that should be followed while using any software tools, don’t forget to implement them while choosing their new ERP solution as well.
4) Get expert advice: Again, this might seem obvious, yet businesses often ignore it. Businesses should consider hiring an ERP implementation company to implement or choose the right product for them. One can also hire a consultant to guide them through the whole implementation process, which will take quite some time as well as include heavy costs. Although, choosing an experienced implementation company will save their time and money in the long run, which makes it worth considering despite the initial cost.
5) Assess all available options: It’s always good to explore all possible options before coming up with a decision. If there are all pros but no cons, they know that the solution looks promising after a thorough assessment. So reviewing existing software solutions along with future expectations is an essential step that should not be skipped.
6) Improve their business processes: ERP systems are developed to help businesses improve their existing workflows, and this feature should thus, not be ignored. Instead, it is recommended to explore all available options before choosing one that does fit into their workflow or can be customized according to future requirements. Suppose they already have an inventory management system. In that case, it might make sense to get something that will integrate with the existing software where possible instead of developing a new one.
7) Customize the product: Some products offer more customization than others, so if the need for customization doesn’t arise in the future, then there is no point in spending on very expensive customization tools with limited benefits. Choosing a solution that can be easily customized to fit into business processes when required is important.
8) Look for competitive pricing: The cost involved in implementing an ERP system is quite high, which is why it makes sense to choose one that falls within their budget. This way, one will save on the implementation costs while still enjoying all the benefits of a fully integrated ERP solution.
9) Have a proper plan: One should have a sound plan regarding how they are going to implement their chosen product so that there are no delays in the process. Moreover, a detailed project plan also helps businesses get ROI faster by identifying all necessary resources and time required to successfully implement their proposed solution. Generally, enterprise resource planning solutions require thorough analysis, design, development, testing, and implementation, which are time-consuming.
10) Data migration: The cost involved in migrating data from their company’s current system to the new ERP depends on various factors such as the size of the database they have, the number of tables involved etc. However, this should be kept in mind before choosing a product to avoid unwanted costs later that might fall outside one’s budget. It is recommended to look at all possible options regarding data migration before making a choice.
11) Expected growth: When deciding whether or not to implement an enterprise resource planning solution, it’s always good to look into future requirements because no business can predict their exact needs years ahead, yet having an idea about anticipated growth helps businesses make smarter decisions. If expected growth is high, then implementing an ERP system might make a lot of sense because it will easily allow businesses to meet their future needs.
12) Customer demands: If their customers have specific requirements, they should consider choosing a product that can support all the necessary functionalities from the start so that they don’t demand custom solutions from them in the future, which could lead to poor customer relations. It is advisable to choose a fully integrated solution that supports all their current and future business processes to avoid major setbacks in the sales or delivery process.
13) Ensure data security: Data is most valuable for any business. Hence, its security becomes mandatory. Regardless of how safe a product claims itself to be, it’s always better to review the vendor’s policy regarding data protection before making a choice.
14) Make use of free trials: Most vendors offer a free trial version of their products to potential customers to test the functionality and performance and learn about other features that are available with the product before deciding which one suit them best. So, it is always better to take advantage of such offers whenever made available by the vendor.
15) Look for references: It’s always advisable to ask around and speak with existing users before making a decision because there might be quite a few things that haven’t been mentioned in the specification or even after they have completed the implementation process and are satisfied with their chosen solution, some issues may start arising later on. This will help them make an informed regarding whether implementing an ERP system will be the right choice for their business or not.
These were some valuable tips to keep in mind before choosing the best Enterprise Resource Planning System.