Selecting an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system can be extremely daunting and complex. With so many software solutions on the market, executives need guidelines on how to choose the solution that best fits their business.
Software Advice, a site dedicated to helping technology professionals select the ERP software they need to succeed, recently published an eBook titled, “Key Criteria for ERP Software Selection," which outlines the top factors to consider when selecting ERP software.
According to the eBook’s author, Forrest Burnson, “small to medium size businesses have more options than ever when it comes to implementing a fully-fledged ERP system.” Burnson went on to say, “In this day and age there aren't many good reasons for those growing businesses to continue using disparate systems and manual processes to execute on their business's operations when they're able to house all of their critical software under one roof for an affordable price. Understandably, it can be a daunting endeavor with so many vendors out there and so many considerations to factor in."
The eBook quotes Dan Griffin, director of product management at Exact Macola, discussing how an ERP solution can help manage and improve everyday business tasks. Dan also notes the importance of considering all of the business' needs and key requirements of the solution before making a selection.
Are you considering an ERP solution? Here are seven things to keep in mind:
1. Understand the Market for ERP Software
It is important to understand what the ERP market has to offer. A business should be in that there are tens-if not-hundreds of ERP software options to choose from.
2. Assess Your Business Needs and Form a Committee
Before you can even outline what a system should look at, you first need to determine what your business needs to be successful.
3. Outline Key Requirements
A good strategy for picking an effective ERP solution is formulating what your ideal software will look like. What areas in your business are the most in need of a radical overhaul? These should be made a priority in the ERP software.
4. Identify a Short List of Vendors
With so many vendors in the market, narrowing down the list is crucial before choosing the right one. When determining the list of vendors, a business needs to keep in mind immediate needs as well as potential future needs.
5. Submit RFPs to Vendors
This is probably easiest step in the whole process; the time for vendors to fight over who wins the contract!
6. Get References From Vendors and Elsewhere
Just like in a job interview, references are probably the best indication of what the software is like on a day to day basis. It is important to keep in mind most software will fall somewhere in the middle.
7. Make a Decision and Negotiate
It’s decision time. After probably weeks of going back and forth and numerous conversations, it is finally time to pick the most appropriate ERP solution for your business!
By following these guidelines, the decision process should be a little less daunting. The most important thing to keep in mind when selecting the appropriate software is choosing one that meets and exceeds the business’s goals.