Criteria for Choosing the Best ERP For Start-Ups

Start-Up Erp Software

One of the best investments a start-up can make as a growing business is having an integrated business management solution to ensure that all office functions are in place. ERP software helps organizations adapt to a dynamic and often unpredictable business environment.

Studies show that most small businesses and start-ups do not use an ERP. They make do with multiple applications that serve a variety of purposes. For example, some start-ups use an accounting tool and a marketing application.

Waiting for your business to grow to implement an ERP system might not be the wisest move.

As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail – ERP software helps organize your operations, provides a good foundation for your business, and, if you choose right, is flexible enough to scale with you as your business grows.

Here are the main criteria for choosing the best ERP for your start-up:

1. Affordability

Keeping your budget in mind is essential if you have just started a start-up. Investing in a full-scale ERP product you will probably not use is a waste of money. Investing in a scaled-down, affordable ERP that allows you to add modules along with your business growth would be best.

2. Scalability

Many affordable ERP products are stagnant. In other words, although they are within your budget, you may stumble upon an issue when your business grows in size and stature. The ERP system you turn to should be able to offer additional modules as and when you need them and downsize your ERP if need be.

3. Does it support a hybrid model?

While most of today’s ERP products are offered as Saas (Software as a Service), Many businesses still require on-premise ERP systems. If your start-up deals with high-security or specialized business areas, you may need a hybrid ERP to deploy specific modules on-premise.

4. Is it mobile-friendly?

Whether the staff works remotely or operates in the field, deploying a stationary ERP may not be enough. It is essential to choose an ERP product that is mobile-friendly and responsive. In other words, it should work on your employees’ mobile devices.

5. Can you integrate third-party tools easily?

No ERP is a complete product by itself. Even the most advanced ERP products require third-party tools for additional features. You should ensure that your new ERP has an open API that easily allows third-party app integrations. If third-party integrations are complicated, then it is probably not the ERP your start-up needs. You must make sure that adding third-party applications is as easy as plug-and-play.

6. Does it support your niche requirements?

You may have distinctive requirements if your start-up has particular business operations or works in a distinctive field. e.g., manufacturing, warehousing, or hi-tech. A good ERP should be able to accommodate your individual needs and must have the capacity to integrate tools that make you take your niche start-up to the next level.

7. Can it be customized easily?

A good ERP is easily customizable. Speak to the vendor to find out if they offer customization services as an add-on or as part of the subscription model.

8. Customer support

Complex software programs require regular updating and maintenance. Cloud-hosted ERPs are often updated automatically, and you do not need to worry about maintenance. However, you may have questions and doubts regarding features or encounter errors and bugs. You should ensure your ERP vendor offers top-notch customer support so your start-up faces no hurdles.

Make sure your new ERP meets all the criteria.

Indeed, there are multiple questions you need to ask before choosing the right ERP for your start-up.
Ask yourself if you can afford it and if your chosen ERP is scalable. You should be able to integrate third-party tools easily, so you must access the API. It should also support a hybrid model and offer mobile-friendly applications, allowing access from anywhere, anytime.

In addition, it should support your unique requirements depending on the kind of business you run- as and when necessary, you should be able to customize your new ERP for start-ups easily. You should also have access to customer support and technical assistance 24/7.

Finally, the ERP vendor should understand what you need as a start-up. If your ERP vendor understands your unique needs, you probably have found the right solution.

The Author
Todd McElroy
Head of Sales, Priority U.S.

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