Think about the various processes that are essential to running a business, like order management, accounting, human resources, customer relationship management (CRM) etc. As a businessman, you must have thought about how to integrate all these different sections of businesses. You will soon realize that it’s a hectic task and this is where the ERP comes into play. ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system is an important aspect of any business. It includes integrating the various functions that are vital to running a successful business into a centralized and integrated system. To put it simply, ERP software integrates the various functions that are involved within the business into one complete system to streamline processes and information across the entire organization.
So selecting ERP software for your business is one of the most critical decisions you have to take for your organizational growth. However, choosing the perfect software for your business is not easy. Not only is ERP software cost-intensive, but it also requires a huge investment in human resources and time on your behalf to make consistent progress.
As competition for ERP business has grown in recent years, vendors have increasingly begun to come up with slew of promises like “use our ERP software and your business will grow easily”. The fact is that, these promises turn out to be meaningless because these vendors have neither the expertise nor the vision to build and maintain a workable strategy.
So here we discuss about some of the tips that can help you select the perfect ERP software for your business.
First thing you have to do to select an ERP software is to define and document your current business processes. The documentation must include the problems, strengths, business requirements and the future goals of your organization. These requirements and the processes will be used by the potential software vendor to showcase their product features and fulfil your business needs.
Across industries, there has been a staggering rise in BYOD. So accessing ERP systems from desktops only is no longer an effective option. The businesses must choose an ERP solution that are mobile friendly and allows users to be productive on smartphones and tablets. At the same time one must ensure that sensitive information is secured properly.
Whether your company is small or big, you must consider every aspect to identify the ERP vendor. Usually you pay to vendor a specific monthly fee for the ERP software service companies and they will provide the system and support from the remote server. The vendor should be committed to the product and make the changes as per business requirement for committed year. There are many big ERP software companies in the market and you have to select the perfect vendor depending upon your requirements only. Take your time to identify the best vendor who can provide long term support and assistance while not exceeding the costs.
There are other factors come into play like technical sophistication, functionality, features and ease of use while selecting the ERP software. If you are buying ERP software, you have to first look at its functionality and ease of use. How easy is it to set up and configure the application? What about maintenance? How is it applicable to different types of users? How the product is built? Is it in a standard object-oriented programming (OOP) language?
These all are the question you should ask to arrive at a conclusion. Some vendors use their own specific language and tools, which means you will be locked in to that vendor if you want to add any link to a third party application or to create custom reports, etc. If that is the case, then you may have to pay for the privilege.
One has to really think ahead and take all this questions and factors into consideration before choosing the ERP system.
The main benefit of cloud-based ERP software is its modular nature. This feature allows businesses to optimize and customize software according to their particular needs. However, many businesses don’t really understand the traps that are laid by the ERP software companies. They purchase many customization options that they don’t need and pay for them without ever utilizing the full potential. So it’s vital for businesses to stick to their list of needs, and be wary of customization options that are unimportant.
Cost is an important aspect as far as purchasing ERP software is concerned. During the sales cycle, most of the ERP software sales representatives downplay the costs and risks associated with purchasing their software. So, make sure that you accept potential costs early in the process before committing to a particular solution. The businesses should examine the costs associated with ERP that are hidden, including implementation costs, hardware upgrades, backfilling your project team etc.
Finally you have to track the potential business benefits of the new system you are going to apply. If you don't measure it, you are unlikely to achieve your goals. Your organization must understand thoroughly the importance of ERP and its use to reduce costs, increase revenue and achieve growth. You should estimate all the benefits against these metrics if you want to realize the full potential of ERP software.
ERP software, whether it’s for small business or big one, maximizes the productivity of the organization by reducing the potential for errors and automating a variety of tasks. So take all the above mentioned tips to consideration while selecting ERP software. This will definitely save your business time and money, and help your business achieve greater heights.