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10 Ways to Identify the Right ERP Software Solution

10 Ways to Identify the Right ERP Software Solution

The ERP selection process is one that is often riddled with uncertainties and confusion. Careful planning coupled with in-depth reviews of your ERP implementation goals, and business processes can play a significant role in improving your end results.

If you’ve ever played Cards Against Humanity, you know what it’s like to be the judge. With a handful of white cards, how do you choose just one? Selecting the right enterprise resource planning (ERP) software may not be as entertaining as a card game, but it doesn’t have to be a painful experience. Choose the best ERP for your company to regulate business and automate back office activities. ERP software converges all aspects of your operation - product planning, development, manufacturing, sales, and marketing. Here are 10 ways to simplify the ERP selection process.

  1. Define Problems & Match Solutions

In choosing an ERP solution, it is essential to identify and map out the problems you need to solve. One method is to draw a chart that compares your goals and the different ERP systems that you are evaluating. In the first column, list what you want your company to accomplish; for example, sustain a 97% accurate inventory, create precise quotes, and so on. In the second column, list the features of the ERP system under consideration and connect items in the left and right columns. If too many goals are left unconnected, move on to another ERP solution. See example below:

Related: ERP Selection Tool Kit: 6 Essentials

  1. Don't Forget Mobile Users

Mobile adoption and BYOD is ever on the rise, especially for business. Accessing ERP systems from desktop is only one of several options. Choose an ERP solution that plays well on tablets and smartphones.
  1. Locally Hosted vs. Cloud Hosted vs. Cloud-Based ERP

Should you go with a cloud-based system (software-as-a-Service (SaaS)) or install software on your own servers? Perhaps you should buy the on premise ERP application and have it hosted in the cloud. Each choice has pros and cons. A local install is carries an initial capital expenditure, but is balanced by lower ongoing maintenance fees. A cloud-based solution costs much less upfront, but may have higher maintenance fees in the long-term. Select an ERP that offers options that suit your needs.

Free Download: Easy Guide to Selecting The Right Manufacturing ERP Software Solution

  1. Choose the Right ERP Software

It’s too easy to select software because it’s what your competitors are using, or it’s receiving lots of attention on tech sites. Popularity of software in your industry vertical is a legitimate data point, but it’s just one of many data points. When interviewing vendors, dig deeper to get detailed information relevant to your business needs, not the needs of your competition.
  1. Understand the Total Cost of Ownership

    When you are making your ERP software selection, you may not be clear on all of the costs and risks associated with your purchase. Be sure you understand all the costs associated with ERP, such as implementation, maintenance, upgrades, and adding team members.
Read: How to Select The Right ERP Software Solution
  1. Call References

Don’t go blindly into a decision. Find out what it’s like to use the ERP software by interviewing current users. You may be surprised at what you discover. A solution that appears to be ready out of the box could require extensive modification once it’s up and running. Get reports from the front lines before going there yourself.
  1. Plan for the Future

All of your business software choices, including ERP, should be innovative and grow with your enterprise. Yes, there are features you need now, but what about features you need in a year? The right ERP is scalable to serve you in the long term with support for changes to ecommerce, marketing and top line revenue.

Read Also: 2015 ERP Buying Guide: Top ERP Features Your Solution Must Deliver

  1. Test the System

Take advantage of trial access and demos available during and after vendor presentations. When the demo takes place, make sure the right people are there to test it. Get it in the hands of department heads as well as the employees who will actually use it.
  1. Create a Shortlist

After you’ve done your research and eliminated the solutions that don’t quite fit your needs. Shortlist three to five ERP solutions that best meet your business objectives. Due diligence, such as calls to references, helps eliminate poor fits.
  1. Usability For All

How user friendly are your top choices? Look for an intuitive user interface. User experience and user design are top priority. The easier the system, the greater return. Design impacts productivity. Because happy employees make for happy customers, the right solution ultimately impacts customer experience.

This is an original blog post from the CompuData Business Technology Optimization Blog.

 

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