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Like it or not, there is no denying the fact that technology is part of who we are and part of the way we do business.  With the proliferation of smartphone usage Americans are literally attached at the hip to their friends, families and now even their businesses and business processes.  But if your organization doesn’t have the technology to support this new way of working and running a business, a smart phone can only take you so far.  Whether you are a growing business looking to upgrade entry level software like Quickbooks to a full scale enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, or looking to bring legacy systems into the modern era, selecting the right ERP software solution can be a tricky process.

We have all heard horror stories about ERP implementation failures, and of course changing technology systems doesn’t come without its risks, but that risk can be drastically reduced by doing thorough homework  and selecting the right ERP software for you and your company.  Here are three important steps to take before you decide on your next business management software package.

  1. Budgeting and Shortlisting Business Software Options
  2. Make ERP Software Trials Work for You
  3. Matching Business Software to Business Needs

Matching Business Software to Business Needs

Matching business software to business needs requires a lot of homework, carefully assessing what the business hopes to achieve with the software implementation.  Start with looking at each department.  What problems are occurring in each that you are trying to solve with the new system?  What software is each department currently using?  Choosing the software that compliments the way your people work will make them more receptive to learning and using it. 

Once you know what your people need, it’s time to ask yourself what your IT infrastructure looks like and what it can support in terms of a new system.  Maybe you have some third party solutions in place that you aren’t ready to part with yet, or you have custom processes, working in a niche industry.  Best of breed ERP software will be relatively easy to integrate with third party software, and it will be customizable to fit a wide variety of industry verticals.  So be sure to make customization and integration a top priority.  Read more…

Budgeting and Shortlisting Business Software Options

You will need to factor everything from licensing fees, new hardware and new operating systems to maintenance, support and hosting fees.  Your people budget should factor in educating and training training your staff, change management, project management and ongoing support from your reseller.  Your data budget will include the entire migration process from extraction to cleansing to entry into the new system.

When shortlisting your software, start with and informal list based on what you already know about ERP software options.  Now it is time to create an objective scoring document that lists your key requirements for the software and vendor.  Bring in your organizational leadership to determine the value of each requirement.  This scoring card will make it easier to compare products and partners based on a relatively unbiased score. Now you can narrow it down to a few by asking, which packages best match your technical requirements?  Which are most flexible and scalable?  Does the software integrate with your third party systems like sales tax automation and manufacturing?  Does the reseller have a local site near you and experience in your industry?  Does the software have a reliable reputation in your industry?  These questions should help you narrow your shortlist down to three to five finalists.  Read more…

Make ERP Software Trials Work for You

Now that you are in the test-drive phase, use what learned from the assessment to test the functionality each department needs so you will have a more focused trial experienced.  You cannot get a true trial experience by simply plugging in some figures, and clicking through menus for a few minutes.  Set aside significant blocks of time to try out each feature that will be critical to your daily work.  Several windows of two hours or longer will give you time to truly get into the software and see for yourself how well it works for you.

No software has a totally intuitive experience, so seek out tutorial videos and how-to’s.  This way you aren’t left scratching your head when you should be test driving the software. Because goERPcloud is a member of the Microsoft Dynamics Community, there are literally hundreds of resources including demo videos and how-to’s available, so you can get started fast and easily navigate the new software. Read More…

Not sure which Microsoft Dynamics ERP Product to use?

Check out goERPcloud’s assessment app that helps you decide which flavor of Dynamics is best for your.

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