Making the best choice in enterprise resource planning systems (ERP) can be difficult. You know that there’s a solution that’s the best fit for your business but how do you find it? If you operate a small or medium-sized business, you’re probably aware that you have more options in ERP systems than ever before. How do you choose the right ERP software?
There’s no reason why you have to continue with a mishmash of systems and manual processes while larger enterprises enjoy the benefits of a full ERP system. Here are some steps you can take so you can be confident that your choice of ERP solution is just right for your business.
Assess needs and articulate requirements
Before you start looking at the features offered, sit down with key players and determine what your business actually needs. It’s easy to see a list of features and think how nice they would be, forgetting, in your excitement, what your true needs are. Formulate a description of what your ideal ERP software would include, making note of key business areas that are most in need. These should be the features you prioritize when appraising your options.
Let short and long-term needs influence your short list of suppliers
It is, of course, easier to know what your immediate business needs are right now than what they will be in a year or two. However, doing your best to understand the direction in which your business is growing will help you choose an ERP solution that will not only be right for your needs now but also for the long-term as well. Which business areas do you envision growing over the next few years? What types of team members do you anticipate hiring this year and the next? Answers can help you determine what ERP features are likely to address long-term needs.
Ensure sufficient versatility for evolving needs
You can do your best to forecast short and long-term business needs, but everything is constantly changing: markets, economies, the workforce, and technology. Decide upon an ERP system that won’t hold you back from evolving in a dynamic environment, particularly if you work in an industry that experiences rapid change. Should your company acquire another company, split into divisions, or otherwise undergo big changes, your ERP system should be able to scale along with your growth, not make changes harder.
Understand Total Cost of Ownership
You can count on at least some ERP software representatives to downplay costs and risks during the evaluation and comparison phase of your selection. You’re far better off knowing about and understanding potential costs early in the sales process, rather than after you have committed. Before making your choice, understand implementation costs, any necessary hardware upgrades, software maintenance schedules, and generally any ancillary costs that might emerge once you’ve signed on the bottom line.
Evaluate vendor support before committing
Companies that have purchased ERP systems in the past and are purchasing their second (or subsequent) system prioritize the support delivered by the ERP provider. The provider’s track record of performance is a top priority – something companies may not appreciate until after they have experienced less than stellar service. How will the provider assist with implementation and ensure the best return on your investment? Your choices, both internally, as decision-makers, and externally, selecting providers may be the single most important aspect of your ERP implementation.
NexTec Group has been implementing enterprise resource planning systems and providing the support that businesses need for over 20 years. We know every business is unique and faces unique challenges. We’re ready to support you in your unique implementation so you can be confident you made the best decision. We invite you to download the NexTec Brochure to learn more about our recommended ERP software systems and experience.