Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a business application platform that helps businesses manage their day-to-day activities such as accounting, sales metrics, compliance management, and more. It facilitates your business in every department. More than ever, various companies offer this software, making it harder for you to choose.
Check out our top tips for deciding on the right ERP! And read on for a couple best practices when it comes to considering if an ERP is a good fit for your business.
Map your business processes
If you choose to implement any ERP software, this will be one of your first steps. So, the best thing to do is review all your current business processes, weak points, and strengths. You may also consider how you want these processes to look like in the future once you have a system in place. It will help you become aware of what is currently being done in your business and what you need to improve.
Get Local References
Ask different people, like your colleagues and other contacts in your industry/network what system they recommend, and which software is best for your type of business. Conducting this kind of research gives you second opinions and more vendor options. This process is especially important for business’ who have no experience with software or ERP’s as it helps you understand each system and how you can fully take advantage of it for your specific type of company.
Focus on systems built for your Industry
You need to understand how a potential software fits in with your business’s current operational structure. For example, if you work for a tech or software company, it may be easier to find ERP system that is a good fit. However, there are still many systems developed for different types of businesses. For example, here at ESS, we specialize in providing and implementing systems for use in the manufacturing sector. Therefore, choosing software that is made specifically for your type of business and fits its needs is an important consideration.
Find out what similar companies are using
Doing research within your industry is another key to finding the best system for you. Going through the reviews of different software and seeing how they worked out for others is also smart. Check out Capterra and G2 for reviews on popular systems. Or if you have connections at other business like your own, research what worked for them.
Know the costs
Being aware of potential costs early on is always easier for you and your business so you are well prepared. You should make sure to research all the expenses involved, including those after purchasing to avoid being bombarded with “hidden-costs” associated with the ERP itself. Like upgrades for the hardware, or even software maintenance. Knowing these beforehand will allow you to make the best selection that fits your budget. Often a system that appears cheaper may end up being more expensive than its competitors, due to hidden costs.
Develop an implementation plan
It is essential to develop and follow a plan that includes software implementation, training, and support. This plan should be reviewed before implementation and must be thoroughly discussed and approved to succeed. Ideally you will use the vendors provided professional services team or contract an outside software solutions group to assist with these tasks. Many companies try and implement and train themselves and opt out of thesupport/service package (or buy the cheapest), which leads to an underutilized system.
Your selection plan should consider the following:
Corporate Goals Data migration
Daily business activities
Process validation and testing Training
User and security setups
Upgrades and maintenance of software (only on prem solutions).
Ongoing service and support
Picking an ERP software can be daunting
ERP systems are not a one-size-fits-all solution for all companies. As mentioned before, you will need to study and research what your business needs specifically when picking, including its size and what functions you need to automate or streamline. Many people think an ERP is only useful for managing accounting and HR. But we know it provides way more than these two functions, in fact our suite covers a range of business functions across the whole manufacturing sector.
What to expect from your ERP?
As mentioned, developing, and following a selection plan before implementation can ensure you pick the best ERP. Once you have picked and implemented it, depending on the type of business you own, you can expect changes like:
Faster sales processes.
Smooth communication for production and management
Automation of business processes
Minimal manual data entry
Improvement in customer services.
Accurate and secure information storage
Less human error
Easier adoption of new processes.
Measure your success
Track the potential and after-implementation benefits to measure how effective using this software has been for your business. If you are not measuring, you are less likely to achieve your goals and understand what your system is doing for you. Suppose you are not tracking reduced costs, quicker management skills, revenue growth, decreased manual bookkeeping, and other expected occurrences from this resource. In that case, you are less likely to upgrade your software for an even better experience of efficiencies and resources.
Talk to an ERP Specialist
As we can see, the advantages of using a system like ERP software are countless. From managing or automating business process’, to ensuring the best customer satisfaction, and cutting down on costs, a platform like this can be highly beneficial for your organization. If you pick a good system, the benefits (ROI) outweigh the costs, time, and effort put into implementing this resource. With enough careful research and review, you are sure to find the ERP solution for you. If you want any help, one of our ERP experts would love to chat and point you in the right direction.