If your company is searching for a new or replacement ERP system, it’s safe to assume that you’ve either outgrown your legacy software, or that your current ERP system can no longer keep pace with your growing business, and your growing business needs.
Most business owners and managers spend several months (or longer) before deciding on which ERP vendor to go with, and if what they’re being pitched, is in fact, the “be all and end all” – no less than the perfect ERP for their organization. solution. It can be a long, arduous, and even confusing process, and then some. According to analyst firm, Gartner, over 55% all ERP projects fail because the customer (and the vendor, too!) underestimated the time, resources, and budget required successfully implement and maintain an ERP.
First, you want to be sure that your ERP has the modules, features and functionality that will optimize your operational business processes. In other words, your ERP should work for you. You do not want to change or adapt your business practices to suit your ERP. Comparing different ERP’s features is perhaps the best way to better understand the ROI, and what you can hope to achieve from each system you’re considering.
You will want your ERP to be able to integrate with other third-party software products and applications. This means that you want to look for an “open” ERP system. A high level of system openness enables you to send and receive business data to other software systems in your organization. Today’s advanced systems offer exceedingly high levels of interoperability between core business processes, with the ability to incorporate external data, for example, from AI and IoT-powered devices, opening up a whole new world of innovation for your business.
You want to research and assess your vendor’s reputation, especially in terms of quality and reliability, and post-sales customer support and service. You’ll want an ERP vendor who has experience in your vertical market and the types of products and/or services you deliver. You can access a wide range of ERP software review websites that include comparison tables, and customer reviews. It’s equally important to ask colleagues in your business sector about their ERP system performance. Their input is an integral part of your decision-making process.
You’ll want to look for a flexible ERP to enable your business to adapt, change, and grow over time, and that you can easily add features and functionality as your business grows. You’ll also want a system that is scalable, so that you can penetrate into new markets, and expand your business, such as increased volumes, workloads, and amounts of data. As you grow, your ERP will also need to scale, to continue providing support.
On-premise ERP is installed in-house, while cloud ERP is delivered as a Software-as-a-Service solution. Hybrid ERP combines both, with certain features and functionality delivered via the cloud, while others are stored locally. Choosing the right model depends on how sensitive your business data is, and what your business and technological objectives are. Most businesses today, however, choose cloud ERP, as it’s easier to implement, more affordable, including various subscription models, and doesn’t require installing costly system hardware on site.
ERP is a considerably large investment. The total cost of the system is high, plus the cost of implementation and additional required resources required. But it’s not only about cost – it’s also about long-term value. Investing in an ERP system will, over time, yield results, by first and foremost, enabling your employees to do their jobs better, faster, and more efficiently. In turn, you will save time, valuable resources, and costs, where the right ERP can mean the difference between failure and success.
When considering a new or replacement ERP, you’ll want to ensure that your vendor provides comprehensive user training, even if it’s at an additional cost. With many ERP systems, there’s a steep learning curve. You want your employees to optimize the reams of system features and functionality. This means not only understanding how the system works, but how it can best work for them.
You want an ERP that will seamlessly combine all of your operational business processes, automate your workflows, and enhance your overall performance, productivity, and efficiency. While some may think that this is a “tall order,” this is what an ERP is meticulously designed and developed to do.
With the right ERP in place, you will work smarter, work better – and work towards growing your business and your bottom line.