Best Practices for Choosing ERP Software

Best Practices for Choosing ERP Software

Best Practices for Choosing ERP Software

This article will provide some of the best practices for choosing ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software which has become a staple of the modern business world. Choosing ERP for automating and centralizing business workflows and information, allows a company to quickly share information between departments and manage fixed assets and inventory. 

Best Practices for Choosing ERP Software

Key Factors to Remember While Choosing ERP

For your business solution to serve you well, while choosing ERP, start by looking for options that meet the following criteria:

  • It can handle multiple types of currency (U.S. dollars, euros, yen, etc.)
  • It has a strong security system with encryption procedures.
  • It can handle a high data load without performance degradation.
  • It has a modular and customizable structure.
  • It can perform data exchange with XML and EDI.
  • It has a fast and flexible reporting system.
  • It can log all the activities that are performed by users.
  • It supports mobile devices.

The next step while choosing ERP is to determine the total cost of ownership for the solution. This is more than the price of the software – you need to take into account the annual fees for system upgrades. If you don’t have an IT department, the cost of technical support and ongoing maintenance should be factored in as well, when choosing ERP. It could turn out that the overall cost is much greater (or cheaper) than you originally realized when choosing ERP.

The ERP software vendor’s standing in the business world is another matter to take into consideration when you are choosing ERP. For the most part, you should be choosing ERP provider that is still acquiring new customers on a regular basis. Choosing ERP vendor that primarily subsists off maintenance fees is much more likely to go out of business in a faltering economy and leave your company without access to technical support or system updates.

You should also ask the software vendor for at least three references when choosing ERP. This will give you a chance to talk with other small businesses and see how well the solution worked out for them. If the ERP vendor does not want to provide references and tries to steer you towards case studies or unsourced quotes, it’s not a good sign – you may want to just move on and consider choosing ERP vendors that are different.

One other step when choosing ERP is to ask the vendor for a free demonstration of the software. You can use the opportunity to try out different configurations and determine how flexible the system truly is. You’ll also have the opportunity to test the special features and see whether or not they’re worth the additional price. You may have to go through the process a few times if you’re not fully satisfied, but you should be able to find the best when choosing ERP software for your company in the end.

What More to Consider While Choosing ERP?

When choosing ERP solution for your business, you need to be thorough and ensure all your requirements are being met currently and the solution will be able to scale and keep up as your business grows. Here is what more you can do that will help you in choosing ERP:

  • Prioritize the user experience when choosing ERP.
  • Ensure the Integration of the new ERP with other apps.
  • Consider flexible and low-code systems.
  • Anticipate future needs and plan accordingly when choosing ERP.
  • Look for long-term commitments when choosing ERP.
  • Consider and decide on customization vs. standardization when choosing ERP.

Prioritize the User Experience 

It is crucial to ensure the ERP software you choose provides an easy and user-friendly experience. If the workforce for which the ERP is meant, is unenthused about using it due to outdated technology or too much technical jargon, the investment will be a lost cause. Also, make sure to check for training material such as online guides or community support referred by your vendor when choosing ERP. 

Ensure the Integration of the New ERP with Other Apps

Beware that an ERP solution does not work in silos. The IT department caters to managing and monitoring the smooth functioning of the entire business process. It is important to equip your IT department with an ERP solution that interacts and integrates well with databases, all applications, and the rest of the IT infrastructure when choosing ERP. 

Consider Flexible and Low-code Systems

The recent shift to agile software development has offered flexible, low-code or no-code development environments, making upgrades and usage much easier. With such low-code options, companies can safely develop improvements without disrupting the core ERP system when choosing ERP. 

Anticipate Future Needs and Plan Accordingly

When choosing ERP solutions, keep in mind that it is the best opportunity to be looking for something that will not just cater to your current business requirements but will continue to have your back in the future. Use advanced data analytics to anticipate and address your future needs, and make sure to discuss future plans beyond software implementation with your chosen vendor. Treat your ERP software like a strategic tool.

Look for Long-term Commitments

For most companies, transitioning to a new ERP system highlights internal constraints in terms of resources or skill, and requires the company to decide whether it should form affiliations with an ERP vendor or hire a 3rd party consultant. Since choosing ERP commitments are mostly long-term, it is important that you would consider choosing ERP partner with a sound understanding of your business operations and workflow dynamics, and excellent industry expertise. 

Consider and Decide on Customization VS. Standardization

While the battle between picking customization or standardization when choosing ERP seems to have no foreseeable end, it is important to begin your search with your requirements clearly understood. Decide on whether you want to choose a standard off-the-shelf ERP solution or you want something tailored for the specific requirements of your company. 

 

 

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