Do you know what ERP to choose?
The most popular ERP's are listed below, but there are 100's to choose from. Even the list below of the most popular range drastically from how many customers each one has, what industries they are supports, what size companies are using, how do you know what is right for you? Let our experts guide you through the process of proper ERP selection and implementation.
What is ERP?
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is the integrated management of core business processes, often in real-time and mediated by software and technology.
ERP is usually referred to as a category of business-management software (typically a suite of integrated applications) that an organization can use to collect, store, manage, and interpret data from these many business activities.
ERP provides an integrated and continuously updated view of core business processes using common databases maintained by a database management system. ERP systems track business resources (cash, raw materials, production capacity) and the status of business commitments: orders, purchase orders, and payroll. The applications that make up the system share data across various departments (manufacturing, purchasing, sales, accounting, etc.) that provide the data. ERP facilitates information flow between all business functions and manages connections to outside stakeholders.
What is the right ERP for me?
ERP selection can be complicated. This is why an ERP system should be clear. The ERP system you choose will be the platform through which the various functional areas of your company cohere into one unified whole. Selecting and implementing an ERP software solution helps you work smarter, improving efficiency and transparency across your business processes, which includes everything from purchasing and sourcing, manufacturing, and inventory control to sales and marketing, distribution and customer relationship management.
Your ERP selection should deliver platform scalability and flexibility
Your current list of requirements and needs should not be the only thing that guides a purchasing decision. You must also consider what features you'll need as your business grows or experiences change going forward into the future.
Look beyond the standard features a system offers and consider how easily it will be able to adapt to changing business needs and in embracing emerging technologies. If there are excessive limitations on how much a particular ERP system can be customized, it may be worth looking elsewhere. What you’re doing by seeking ERP agility is future-proofing your business, and that matters a lot.
Does your ERP support mobile users?
More and more companies are adopting bring-your-own-device (BYOD) such as mobile phones and tablets; in which more business users are accessing workflows and data through their own personal mobile devices. If you provide your employees the availability to work wherever they see fit, you may see a boost in productivity.
An ERP dashboard should be mobile-friendly and accessible from anywhere at any time. When your employees are on the go, they’ll be able to easily access key workflows and data to avoid prolonged downtime. 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. Mobile-friendly is a massively important ERP feature, so you should be demanding it.
Customer recommendations or testimonials
An ERP software vendor should be able to give you the names of a few customers to whom you can reach out and get an inside look into the whole implementation process. It's important to note that you can't just focus on the software itself, but should be carefully considering the collaborative experience of our implementation team brings and its overall technical/business acumen in partnering with companies like yours. In many cases where an ERP system fails to live up to expectations, it's not necessarily because the software was deficient, but rather, something went wrong during the implementation process, such as inadequate communication. Listening matters, so does responsiveness and building strong relationships (in addition to strong software solutions).
Ease of use and contextualization
An ERP solution may have everything on your checklist, but is it easy to use and visually easy to understand? Each functional area of the business will work daily with certain kinds of data while having no use for other kinds. The user experience should be customizable for each user so that only the most relevant information is presented. This includes contextualization for international companies that will need region-specific data and units of measurement for all locales. Essentially, a good ERP system will be able to present the right information to the right people at the right time in a simple, accessible way. You should look for a great, customizable UX, or user experience.
Have you considered long term costs?
It's easy to get caught up in upfront costs, but you really should consider the total cost of ownership (TCO) over the long haul. Consider long-term implementation costs related to change management. Your ERP system should be set up to mirror your future-state business processes, so as your processes evolve, your ERP system and vendor will evolve with you.