Posted by Indusa Admin on November 4, 2014 12:42 pm
As businesses expand across geographies and multiple countries, managers need to identify Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software that is not only right for your business now, but will also be able to support your business as it grows in the future.
Questions to Consider When Choosing ERP Software
ERP systems help unite disjointed business processes and data for enhanced operations and efficiency. But, it’s difficult to select the best ERP software that will support your needs today and in the future. Addressing these questions should be part of your ERP selection process:
- What will be the total cost to have the system in place?
- How will the system handle localization – different currencies, taxation and legal frameworks?
- How much visibility will the system provide – will it streamline and standardize operations from supply chain and inventory control to CRM and invoicing?
- What kind of customization will the ERP provide?
- Shall we go for on-premise or cloud-based ERP software?
- Will it be able to scale as my business grows?
The Importance of Finding the Right Software
Whether or not to get ERP software is a huge decision, but it can benefit a company in numerous ways. Finding and utilizing the best ERP software is a great way to streamline organizational processes, minimize miscommunication and disconnect amongst your employees, and decrease any resulting errors.
- Streamline Processes: ERP software puts all the data—from supplier to production to consumer, from executives to managers to supervisors to line workers—on the same database, providing a thread that connects the entire process.
- Eliminate Miscommunication: This can be a major issue for many companies, and without ERP software, they are almost inevitable. An example of a common source of miscommunication is that a successful manufacturing process requires the input of many people from many levels, with different visions, agendas, and focus that are specific to his or her role in the process. As a result, line workers, the individuals who produce the company’s goods, often receive conflicting messages. They may prioritize minor aspects and ignore the major ones in an effort to meet perceived expectations.
- Eliminate Human Errors: While employees are extremely valuable to the manufacturing process, an ERP system can help eliminate the types of errors that all humans are bound to make from time to time. For instance, manual data entry leaves room for errors because people will enter their own perception or estimate of the data, rather than the reality or accurate amount. A forty-four minute pause in production may be entered as a forty-minute pause, or eleven scrapped items may be entered as ten.
Key Considerations When Selecting an ERP
ERP systems eliminate this hassle by putting everyone in a company on the same page. While this sounds simple, choosing the right ERP can be challenging. We recommend the following:
- Assemble Your Team: Before assessing options, it is important to assemble a committee with members from all levels and departments, along with an external consultant who is knowledgeable about the available systems.
- Look at the Facts: Consider size, product, consumers, and the challenges faced in the past. This is important to keep in mind before looking into options. For example, in a small or mid-sized company, you will derive greater value from a system that is designed specifically for the kinds of goods produced instead of a top-tier system.
- Determine Objectives: Along with assessing the company, also discuss what is important to the company when selecting an ERP. Is it price, or particular features? Does the company highly value customer support and expertise in a specific industry, or is it about a system’s proven success, or cost-efficiency? This process may also help hack through the reasons why an ERP is a good decision in the first place.
After working through these considerations, it may be time to research the ERP systems available and schedule brief phone conversations with product experts and sales representatives. Narrow down the options to a reasonable number of potential fits, research the vendor’s past successes and failures, and start contacting those vendors.
Are you finding it difficult choosing a flexible ERP system for your organization? What are your major challenges?
About the Author – Neha Kumar
Neha Kumar is a digital media evangelist and marketing professional. She overlooks Indusa’s content management, social media, online events, email marketing, blogs, digital campaigns, lead generation and inside sales activities on a broader scale.