How an ERP Comparison Helps You Select the Best ERP Software
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions have become an important part of many small businesses, therefore, conducting ERP comparisons before selecting one for your business is essential. The software allows a company to integrate important management information and automate a wide variety of financial, sales and CRM processes. It can be somewhat tricky to choose a solution, since there are so many different vendors available, making the need for ERP comparisons even more crucial.
Factors to Consider in ERP Comparisons
Enterprise Resource Planning software (ERP) are mostly complex system since they are designed to accommodate a variety of business aspects across various departments. ERP software caters to operations and workflows across the accounting department, purchase, inventory, order processing, warehouse management, contact management, and customer communication. While typically most sophisticated ERP comparisons provide similar functionality, their complex nature tends to make ERP comparisons of multiple potential vendors quite a bit complex.
ERP systems are known for offering an array of features extending beyond accounting and inventory functionalities. Some features are designed specifically for certain industry segments, therefore after sufficient ERP comparisons, you should be able to find the perfect solution created for your niche. You should consider the following factors when making ERP comparisons to find the right solution for you:
- Money saved
ERP solutions can dramatically lower operational and administrative costs at a small business, therefore, it is important to weigh the cost factor during ERP comparisons. For the most part, you should look for an ERP comparison that will lower your company’s annual IT costs by 70 percent or more.
- Speed of the system
Since different ERP solutions operate at different speeds, it is essential to consider it in an ERP comparison. Some ERP systems will provide near-instantaneous access to information while others will take several seconds for the data to be processed. You will probably need to demo the software, during ERP comparisons, in order to get a true idea of how fast the ERP system is.
- Features available
Most ERP solutions come with the same basic features (inventory management, cash-flow management, project data management) Many of them offer special functionalities that may be useful at your small business. However, do an ERP comparison to see which ERP vendors offer the features you want and which ones don’t while making thorough ERP comparisons.
- The price
Another very important factor in an ERP comparison is the price, in fact, for most businesses price is the most important factor, while for others it is only secondary. It is essential to not let low costs be the decisive factor for you in an ERP comparison. While lesser costs may seem attractive, the software might cost you more in the long run. Typically, ERP software with higher price quotes serves better both in terms of conservatism and functionality. It is important to strike a balance between the appropriate price based on the software market and the functionalities of the solution by doing an ERP comparison.
- Deployment method
While choosing your deployment method, remember that it will have an ongoing impact on your business costs and resources. Therefore, for small businesses, a cloud-based ERP solution tends to be the better option as long as a reliable internet connection is available. As for larger businesses, it is better to do an ERP comparison and invest in on-premises software especially if you possess the required server infrastructure and also have a dedicated in-house team of IT personnel.
- Total time for implementation
Besides the ERP comparison price quote, the total time for implementation of the ERP solution should also be competitive. Your business’ stakeholders dedicate their time and energy to the project, therefore the implementation phase should not just drag on. To prevent implementation fatigue and the entire process from slowing down, it is important to find an ERP implementation partner that has a rapid implementation methodology by doing an ERP comparison.
- The makers’ repute
While it is the technology that you will be using, the reputation of the makers is of importance, since your business will be affiliated with their brand name. Many ERP systems are mostly similar in terms of functionalities when doing an ERP comparison, deployment, and infrastructure, it is the publishers and the ERP consultants who greatly vary. While making ERP comparisons, also dig into client reviews, financial data, awards, testimonials, and any other KPIs that give you clarity of what you are signing up for.
ERP solutions often need to be upsized or downsized as the number of employees changes at a company. You should therefore see which solutions can be quickly scaled in either direction when making ERP comparisons. You may want to check into the ease of diversification as well if you plan to invest in multiple assets.
- Time of implementation
Depending on the urgency of your need for implementation, this can be important to consider during an ERP comparison, however, an ERP solution doesn’t have to take several weeks to implement at a company. Go to the different vendor’s websites and do your own ERP comparison research. Read the projected estimates for how long it will take for the ERP solution to be up and running. If you don’t immediately need the ERP solution, this factor can be set at a lower priority level.
Your employees are going to waste a lot of time if you purchase an inefficient ERP solution. You should look for an ERP system that streamlines the basic processes and doesn’t require the same information to be entered multiple times by doing an ERP comparison.
- Price of the system
This is obviously an important factor for an ERP comparison. You should keep in mind that the initial price tag may not reflect the overall cost of the system, however. You also need to factor in maintenance, support, and updates to the software. If through an ERP comparison you find that an ERP solution offers any of these for free, they could turn out to be a better deal than an ERP solution that costs a little bit less.