To implement an ERP system or not to implement an ERP system—that is the question. In reality, there are many questions that should be asked before any small or midsized business (SMB) makes such a huge, expensive and time-and-resource-intensive decision. So we at NexTec decided to answer the most frequently asked questions in order to help you come to an informed, business-benefitting conclusion.

Before we proceed, we should divulge the fact that we believe implementing a modern ERP solution is in the best interest of any SMB operating in today’s ever-changing and unpredictable economy. The benefits—which we address below—outweigh any real or perceived inconveniences and costs associated with an ERP implementation.

With that said, let’s get started with some important ERP FAQs.

1. What are the benefits of ERP software?

ERP software connects and organizes all areas of your business. It replaces separate, disconnected systems and acts as a “single source of truth” by storing and synchronizing company-wide data, making it possible for each team member to access the same updated, accurate information at the same time. The result? A real-time 360-degree-view of your business and the following benefits:

  • Reduced redundancies
  • Increased efficiency
  • Enhanced security
  • Streamlined workflows
  • Better customer service

Additionally, when you implement ERP software, you can anticipate overcoming bottlenecks and making data-driven decisions, which helps you maximize profits and reduce costs. You can also produce more accurate forecasts based on complete operational data (current and past).

With these kinds of benefits, many SMBs have already committed their energy and funds towards an ERP implementation. And according to G2 (credit Selecthub), 88% of organizations feel their ERP implementation has helped them succeed.

2. Why is industry-specific ERP software superior to generic ERP software?

As the name suggests, industry-specific ERP is designed with an industry’s unique needs in mind by experts who thoroughly understand your company’s needs. Selecting an ERP built for your industry will help you manage your specific challenges and pain points more effectively. Compared to generic ERP solutions that require extensive customizations to address challenges inherent to your business, industry-specific ERP solutions come equipped with the tools you need to ensure success.

For example, software designed for the manufacturing industry will come equipped with functionality manufacturers need to boost efficiency. Features that support make-to-stock, make-to-order, engineer-to-order and batch processing help business leaders create more efficient production methods. Applications that help increase throughput and reduce downtime ensure companies have the tools needed to optimize their planning and scheduling. 

3. Is my company ready for an ERP solution?

As your business grows, your software should provide you with the features you need to continue succeeding. If it doesn’t, then you may be hindering future success. Ideally, a software system will help you make notable gains in efficiency, productivity, growth and cost savings.

Here are a few signs it’s time to replace your accounting software:

  • Lack of scalability: Systems that don’t grow alongside your company without incurring additional costs and complications can severely limit potential.
  • Data silos: Accounting software that doesn’t integrate with other mission-critical business systems can create unreliable data and limit your insights.
  • Inefficient workflows: If your team is spending more time on manual tasks and workarounds than on actual production, you could be losing big money.

Check out free downloadable for a side-by-side comparison of leading standalone accounting systems and Cloud ERP software. 

4. How is an ERP solution implemented?

An ERP is typically implemented in one of two ways: on-premises or via the cloud. There are advantages and disadvantages to both and depend on your unique company’s requirements. At NexTec, we typically recommend a cloud deployment for a number of reasons.

One reason is how quick, easy and affordable it is to migrate from an outdated solution. Instead of tediously installing costly hardware in a physical location and hiring an entire IT staff to update and maintain the hardware, you can easily and quickly implement a cloud-based ERP solution—no hardware needed. Additionally, your ERP partner shoulders the upgrade, maintenance and security responsibilities.

Another reason we recommend a cloud deployment is because it offers you and your team members remote access to the system and to your critical business data from anywhere and at any time. Should a natural disaster or human-induced threat arise, your data and workflows are safely stored and accessible in the cloud at all times.

Here are a few more reasons to consider a cloud deployment:

  • Seamless integrations: Most Cloud ERP solutions enable businesses to seamlessly integrate with third-party applications, empowering them to extend the ERP solution’s functionality and allowing them to access and synchronize data from those applications.
  • Automatic updates and upgrades: Updates and upgrades within a Cloud ERP solution can be scheduled to occur automatically, making it a painless procedure and providing you with the latest version without interrupting business as usual.
  • No software licensing audits: With a cloud-based platform, the days of undergoing a tedious and sometimes expensive software licensing audit are over. Your monthly subscription fee covers all licensing needs.

5. Which departments are involved in an ERP implementation?

An ERP solution is designed to integrate all aspects of your business, so in short, all departments are involved! An ERP’s strength lies in integration. As noted, data is collected from every department and feeds into a central location, impacting daily operations, from the departmental level all the way up to the C-suite.

It’s important to consider how the ERP system you choose will affect every individual in each department. And just as important is the need to include every team member in the decision by asking what their concerns may be and what features and functionalities they would like the new ERP solution to provide.

The right solution should have a positive impact on all employees, regardless of their position in the company

6. Will ERP software training be required for my staff?

Adopting a new ERP solution is considered a major organizational change and is therefore fraught with the same potential challenges of any major new initiative. As such, some form of training will be required for all levels of staff. Depending on the ERP solution you choose, training can be easy and a part of the overall cost or it may be an additional expense. It’s critical you research this aspect of an ERP implementation before making your final ERP solution selection.

7. What is the potential ROI of an ERP implementation?

Determining the return on investment (ROI) of a Cloud ERP implementation is difficult, especially if you’re seeking an exact monetary figure. However, because the software increases visibility into operations, eliminates bottlenecks and streamlines processes, you can be confident that you’ll boost your bottom line.

For example, end-to-end visibility into your operations allows you to make better, faster decisions that ultimately maximizes productivity and profitability. Eliminating bottlenecks through automated processes means you’re meeting—and exceeding—production and service goals. And with streamlined processes, every department benefits from increased efficiency via cost-effective workflows and accurate data.

But, as you’ll see with question #8, it’s critical you develop a well thought out project plan during implementation. A plan will help you set realistic goals and ensure the project stays on time and within budget and will also help make the ROI more apparent.

8. How should we prepare for an ERP implementation?

Most ERP implementations are completed in stages and based on a defined plan that is created prior to the implementation process beginning. However, before this step, you’ll need to ensure you do the following:

  • Assemble a project team that understands the features, functions and requirements that are essential to the success of your company.
  • Conduct a business process review to help identify areas that would benefit from a connected business management system. 
  • Select the right solution based on your company’s specific requirements and processes. 

9. What will be required of our staff/company? 

Implementing an ERP solution requires buy-in from everyone in the organization. As such, it’s vital you communicate the vision across the whole organization so staff is aware of what will happen and why, starting before the selection process. Create opportunities throughout the implementation process for staff to take part, such as providing early training or discussing with them their thoughts on how the ERP should function. Ensure the proper training by putting low-priority projects on hold so staff members have time to focus on the ERP implementation and learn the new software.

10.  What should we expect from our ERP reseller?

Not all resellers are created equal, and it’s critical that you find a partner with the experience and industry expertise required for implementation success. Look for a reseller with team members that are familiar with your industry so they’re able to better understand your business and what it takes to compete.

At NexTec, we have decades of consulting experience and are proud of our 95% retention rate. We implement process best practices, suggest ways to make your operations run smoother and guide your team through the selection process, implementation, go live and beyond. And throughout the years, we’ve found few Cloud ERP solutions that can compare to Acumatica Cloud ERP.

As a gold-certified Acumatica partner, we can attest to the fact that Acumatica offers a comprehensive, flexible and affordable Cloud ERP solution designed to serve every industry based on their unique requirements. The recipient of G2’s Best Usability Badge for Summer 2022 with a top usability score of 88%, Acumatica’s cloud ERP software is  extremely user friendly. Training users is an inherent aspect of Acumatica’s ERP implementation, and partners like NexTec are ready and willing to walk with you every step of the way.

Acumatica customer Francisco Callegari, CIO at Industry Specialty Services (ISS), says, “[In terms of] employee training and onboarding, Acumatica is very easy to use, which means we don’t have to explain something 25 thousand times. We can show employees what they need to know with just a few clicks.” And ISS CEO James Craig had this to say about NexTec:

“They did a great job of training and getting people to understand how the system works, which drove adoption.”

– James Craig, ISS CEO

If you have more questions about whether it’s time to implement a Cloud ERP solution, how to choose a new ERP solution or how we at NexTec can help, contact our team today. We’d love to chat and to set up a demo.

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