How to Choose a Suitable ERP Software.psAdm
It’s always been difficult to effectively manage parts, production, people and products. And today it’s even harder. The solution – in good times and bad – is to become more efficient. To do that, however, you need the suitable ERP solution.
What capabilities will new ERP software enable? Faster ship times, better customer service, streamlined business processes, operational efficiency, modern e-commerce, warehouse and inventory management, real-time business reporting. These are a few of the points that should be considered during an ERP selection process.
Following factors need to consider while choosing a Suitable ERP for your company.
- Industry Experience
Does the firm’s consulting team know your industry and companies like yours? Will the consultants assigned to the project offer skillets specific to your business? How long, on average, is the tenure of the consultants assigned to the project?
Industry is a factor to consider not only with your software vendor but also with your implementation partner. What is its track record for on-time, on-budget and in-scope performance? Whether or not the vendor and the implementation partner has had success in your industry is essential.
Does the consulting firm offer services for each phase of your project (business process improvement, software evaluation and selection, implementation, value realization)? Does the firm provide a thorough, detailed description of the services to be delivered?
- Scope of Work
Will the consulting firm role up its sleeves and work side by side your teams throughout the project? Or will your organization be left holding the bag with a long list of tasks to do with limited busy resources?
- Post-implementation Support, Education and Training
In order to maximize the benefits of your ERP investment, it is imperative to provide your team with adequate support and training. The typical workforce spans three generations, with varying degrees of technological comfort and rates of learning. One cannot expect true competency to be achieved through onsite training alone.
- Successful ERP Implementation
Technology is only as good as its implementation. Your ERP supplier should have the knowledge and experience to adhere to project management best practices from the outset, with all controls and governance activities strictly managed to ensure that all objectives and expectations are met.
Both ERP software vendors and implementation partners should have references (i.e. happy clients) they can provide to you. Ask to see testimonials from other customers and references within your industry or your similar business people to ensure that your potential ERP supplier delivers on its promises.
- Price / Return on Investment
The ROI of a new ERP can be measured in a few ways.
Are there technology costs that can be reduced through the new ERP? Cost savings can result from a reduction in hardware or support, new software licensing agreements, or a reduced software footprint.
What is the long-term ROI? There is no question that the initial software and implementation cost will be a financial investment for your organization. What does the ROI need to be after year one, year five, and beyond, to make the new technology worth it for your business?
How will the software help facilitate and support future plans for your organization? Whether future plans include growth, new markets, merging with another entity, the new technology you select should mesh with the strategic direction of your organization.
Managing the initial scope of an ERP software implementation is necessary to avoid risk and ensure success. You will likely have a vision of future enhancements after the initial implementation. When evaluating various ERP vendors, consider how the technology fits with your business strategy both today and down the road.
- Select an ERP with support for mobile users
What you don’t want to do is tie your employees to desktops and their offices. Imagine a salesperson who couldn’t access key customer data on the road, but is instead tied to a desktop if he or she wants to access key customer data. How happy and effective would that salesperson be?
With the advent of the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) workplace, more and more business users are accessing workflows and data through their own personal mobile devices. Giving employees the ability to work however, wherever and whenever they see fit has boosted productivity considerably.
What would your customers think when one of your salespeople visits them and says things like “I can’t update your information related to our new agreement until I get back to the office.” Business data needs to be accessible from wherever business happens.
Perhaps even more important is the ability to enter and store data all in one process. When employees can enter data directly from the field, it reduces the risk of errors that occur when they have to collect data in one place and re-enter it into the system later.
If mobile functionality is limited, those efficiency gains will be impossible to realize.
- Select an ERP with Management Dashboards
Dashboards are a powerful way to quickly see high-level performance data with the flexibility to see detailed information when needed.
Select an ERP solution with a dashboard that is User friendly and accessible from anywhere at any time. Get across your team’s sales activity with information on new leads, open prospects, sales orders, new customers, sales performance by rep with achievement against targets, and more.
Dashboards allow companies to easily analyze data and identify potential gaps or opportunities within the business.