Planning your ERP requirements
This makes getting an ERP system right the first time around a very important task indeed! After all this is a system that may go on to redefine the way in which your business works and help you reach new levels of productivity and efficiency.
For this reason it’s a good idea to have a plan when looking at new ERP software to find one which will fit your business currently at all levels and be able to grow and evolve with your business processes.
One of the biggest problems that your ERP implementation may face is bias towards a single aspect of your company; a common issue when the decision is made by somebody involved with a particular part of the company.
There are fairly easy ways to avoid this problem. A good way is to set up multi-criterion decision making for the ERP vendors being considered. This may seem like a complex way to go forward, but the decision to pick an ERP system can be a very complex one itself covering a huge number of factors, especially in larger businesses.
Failures to find a functional ERP system can result in issues such as having a system which doesn’t match the requirements of all of your workers when they have to change the way they work as the new system comes in. This can cause people to avoid using the system and generally cause the ERP system to immediately lose a large amount of its effectiveness. It’s key to ensure that the ERP system you chose is capable of dealing with the needs of users at all levels in the company so that it may be used to maximum effect.
Cheap vs Value with Cloud ERP
It’s also worth considering options other than just the lowest priced systems. While cost is obviously a big factor, going for a cheaper system can cost more in the long run for a number of reasons including:
1. Future proofing: Can a cheaper system accommodate your needs going forward or will it need replacing if the company grows or shrinks? If you do need to change systems, how hard will it be to get your data back out? Some ERP vendors like NetSuite are not known for giving you unfettered access to your data. Instead, expect your costs to increase every year as you pay to access what is rightfully your data!
2. Will it be able to integrate with other tools used by you or your potential partners? You can’t always rely on being able to use a single group of tools, so it’s important to have an ERP system which is robust enough to adapt to integrate with other tools, such as ERP solutions like Acumatica that come loaded with multiple modules out of the box and is optimized for customizations should you need it.
A fair method for working this kind of thing out can be to look at demonstrations of the software. There are naturally a few things to consider, however. One of the key things to keep in mind is that demonstrations can take a lot of work to tailor to your particular business and the features which will be important to you, meaning many vendors may shy away from doing so. Picking solely based on demonstrations will also often give a poor overall picture of the software as well, since demonstrations are generally quite simplistic in nature.
All in all, picking an ERP can be a complex and potentially time-consuming process, though it is a necessary one in finding a solution that will function with your business and help take your company to the next level. By following these steps, you can improve the chances of investing in an ERP system that works best for your company.
Will Clevett is a writer for Trimit Fashion, a Microsoft Dynamics ISV that specializes in supply chain management and ERP systems for the textiles, fast fashion and apparel industry.