An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is a big investment for any company. The decision to deploy one comes from careful consideration, but the results are heavily dependent on the system you choose. This week we’ve got some tips to help make choosing the right ERP software solution as successful as possible.
- Start by creating a clear outline of what you’re looking for – before you even think about sourcing vendors. Examine your current processes and establish a well-defined, and prioritized, list of goals and things you want your ERP software to deliver. Without taking this crucial first step, it is very difficult to compare and measure.
- Do you need an industry-specific ERP system with tools and features designed to solve your specific business requirements or does your business require ‘best of breed’ system components that can be integrated? Industry-specific systems typically have more limited support options and often are higher initial cost than the alternative where you are working with more off-the-shelf systems that are widely supported but require a piece to provide some specific functionality. But if that specific functionality is mission critical than the choice is pretty clear.
- Just saying a system works means nothing. You need to be able to see those results. A proven track-record goes a long way. Ask each potential vendor for recommendations and references. Speak to past clients to get their take on the ERP software – what works and what doesn’t – and their own recommendations. If a company can’t provide this, that speaks volumes.
- Leading vs bleeding edge. Just because something is new, doesn’t mean it’s good. We’re talking about a complex system that your company will rely on, not the next generation smartphone. If a vendor is promoting a brand new product that doesn’t have the testing to support success, you could be facing a high risk of the software being unreliable and thus a greater expense in order to use it. Leading edge, on the other hand, usually signifies that proven track-record we mentioned above – sophisticated, cutting edge technology. Such history is valuable. However, your business may require that you adopt emerging technologies as a competitive advantage so always weigh the pros and cons. And know what you are signing up for!
- Finally, make sure that it does most of what you need it to do. In a utopian world, the ERP system you finally choose would give you everything you want it to. Unfortunately, most ERP software systems are not set up like an all-you-can-eat buffet, and thus you’ll have to determine which items are most important. A good rule of thumb is 80% – if an ERP can deliver 80% (or more) of what you’re expecting it to, you’ve found a great candidate.
A tip for implementation: once you’ve made a decision regarding your chosen ERP software system, be sure to allocate adequate time and resources for training. Give your team members the ability to learn as much as possible about the new system and how best to use it.
At TGO Consulting, we know how important it is to get the most from your ERP software system. Choosing the right one for your organization can be a challenge, but we can help.
Get in touch with us today by calling (905) 470 6830 or visit www.tgo.ca.