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ERP Software Selection: 8 Steps to Making the Right Choice

ERP Software Selection: 8 Steps to Making the Right Choice

ERP software selectionERP Software Selection - 8 Questions to Ask 

An ERP software selection usually begins when you come to the point when your existing ERP system is no longer keeping up with your business requirements. It's usually pretty obvious when you recognize it’s time for a change. Are your existing accounting and other outdated systems struggling with keeping up with your growth? If you’re a distribution company, perhaps you don’t have the ability to manage your inventory or meet your customer’s expectations and demands. Whether you’re a distributor or a manufacturer, you’ll know when it’s time to start evaluating your options. If you’re reading any further, you’re probably already looking.  Here are the steps to ensuring a successful ERP project.

The old traditional ERP software publishers can’t help but notice how much the market has changed over the past few years. With all the options available, a new ERP selection will get really confusing really fast once you start narrowing down choices. There are modern ERP systems that have in some ways evolved from many of the 25 year old market leading options. However, there are some reasons not to discount a few of the leading solutions. For example, they have evolved a great deal over the past decades responding to customer feedback and market demands.

The new ERP software options win over for many of these reasons. Modern options often win in an ERP software selection when it’s more about data integration, Business Intelligence (BI), the cloud capabilities, etc. The newer systems do all that really well. However, be aware because they don’t always have all the features of the traditional ERP systems. This is natural since it took decades to build up those systems based on customer feedback and requirements. The software publishers of the older ERP systems often have to incorporate the latest technologies into their products to remain relevant. This is a struggle for many.

One robust older ERP system has been making progress on both fronts in recent years. always to be on the latest technologies and with Epicor, customers take advantage of that technology when it becomes available vs having to wait for the publisher to integrate the technology to the software = Epicor software upgrades are independent of technology (Microsoft) upgrades because of their modern ICE architecture. With Epicor, this also means that customizations move forward as they are separate from technology and software.

ERP systems today are typically narrowed down through elimination which considers budget, company size, and industry. In your search, you will consider whether a cloud-based solution is right for you. Some of the older solutions require the software to be installed on your internal/in-house network newer ERP solution options are cloud only. This means you must access your system via the internet. You may know about some of the popular ERP systems that offer other options for deployment; in the cloud, on-premise or as a hybrid solution. With a leading solution like Epicor ERP, for example, the corporate location can be deployed on-premise with one or more subsidiaries deployed in the cloud – this is what is known as a hybrid deployment.

3 Things to Keep in Mind 

  • First, choosing an ERP system is a process that should be well planned. When researching ERP systems, you want an ERP system that can address your current business challenges while providing you with the flexibility and scalability to grow and change when needed. Sounds simple, especially if one considers where technology is today, but in the past long-term flexibility was not so simple.
  • Second, knowing the overall business requirements, common challenges, and goals will help your project team identify the best solution overall. Before getting too far into your ERP project, a project team should be formed. Your project team should include departmental representatives from each area with your organization that is impacted by your ERP. Departmental representatives should have a good understanding of business processes and some of the unique ERP challenges faced by their department.
  • Third, gathering input from managers and ERP users, the representatives will be tasked to create a prioritized wish list of features and functionality that their group would like to see in the new ERP system; the individual lists will be used to create a single list with company-wide priorities. This final list is a great organization tool as it will help the project team better understand, from a company-wide perspective, the primary goals and objectives of the new ERP system. Also, later in the sales cycle, the master priority list can also be used to help your team stay focused and in control of the software demonstration process.

Your goals for the new ERP are best prioritized based on your unique business requirements. However, there’s a common thread amongst today’s business leaders. Many organizations are looking for an ERP system that can help them improve efficiencies, reduce costs, have better access to data, make more informed decisions, meet growth objectives, expand internationally and more. Both are highly desirable in your new ERP software selection. We hope you find a new solution that has both!  Here are some questions to ask to ensure a great pick. 

Receive your free whitepaper - Navigating the ERP Selection Process.

ERP software selection tips

8 ERP Software Selection Tips

Once your project team has a good understanding of the ideal ERP solution, then the team should ask the following from the publisher and/or your ERP consultant:
  1. What ERP functionality is important?
  2. What are the Business Goals and Objectives today and tomorrow?
  3. What’s our budget?
  4. What’s the cost to maintain?
  5. What’s the best technology platform?
  6. What customizations are required?
  7. What’s the ease of use and upgrades?
  8. What are our changing ERP requirements with scalability and flexibility?
A new ERP system is a project that must be well thought out as ERP is the backbone of your business and will be with you for many years to come. If managed correctly, your business will be rewarded with a better Return on Investment (ROI) from their ERP through improved efficiencies, access to information, cost savings and more.

If you have any questions about your ERP software selection, please email or contact MIS at our US or Canadian offices.

Additionally, if you want to learn more about Epicor ERP, let us know.

Thank you for reading our blog and please share with others that may be interested in what we have to say.

MIS Consulting & Sales, Inc.

MIS Consulting & Sales, Inc. (MIS) and its subsidiary, MIS Solutions Canada, ULC is an Epicor Gold Partner that has been helping clients meet their vision with business strategies every day since 1987. As we mentioned in this article, not ERP systems are created alike, and neither are all ERP implementation partners. Through long-term relationships, we inspire our clients to achieve their business goals and have an exceptional experience with their ERP. As an experienced firm, we believe that clear communications with repeatable, proven methodologies using certified consultants leads to ERP success with the greatest ROI. Our goal is to help you build your ERP solution today and be your trusted advisor tomorrow.

Another version of this blog was previously published on MIS's Blog on August 10, 2017 by Karen Beaulieu - ERP Selection: 8 Considerations for ERP Selection

Image courtesy of by renjith krishnan

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