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Choosing an ERP software: why agility matters

By Jean-Baptiste Sachot, 2:00 PM on January 9, 2018


IT really came of age between the 1980s and the 2000s. Companies invested in uniform, standardised and often inflexible management software backed by vendor-integrator giants. Today, however, needs have changed. Everything is new: regulations, billing methods, types of customer relations and customer demands. From now on, your ERP software must support these ongoing developments. And that means that it must be agile.

Do you demand the best for your clients? Then demand the best from your ERP software!

You bend over backwards for your clients to give them individually tailored and innovative solutions to their problems. For them, only the best will do. But can you say the same for your in-house processes? The purpose of an ERP software is to help you manage your company, so an agile vendor spells good news.

Your software must change with your market and with any new regulations. So, before you pick a vendor, be sure that they are continuously working on new features to guarantee that your company keeps pace. And if you want to integrate these updates quickly (after all, what good would working with an agile publisher be if they took an age to add these new features?), opt for a SaaS solution.

Read more: Generic or specialised ERP solutions: which should you choose?

An agile ERP software adapts to users

Some solutions, especially those developed by software giants in the 1980s and 1990s, have fallen behind. Their interfaces are dated and the way they work doesn’t suit the practices of today’s hyperconnected, demanding users. Everyone, or nearly everyone, has a smartphone and can use it intuitively.

In this climate, ERP software users expect support when getting started with a new tool, especially one that may seem complicated at first. Does your software publisher / integrator offer an effective after-sales service? Is help available online? Is there an FAQ forum? Is there a user community? Are there operators ready to answer questions? And how quickly can they do this? How long you have to wait could be down to how big your vendor is. For example, you’ll no doubt have to be more patient when dealing with Microsoft than you would be with a lesser-known company.

A responsive ERP software that works for your company

Choosing your ERP software should be a matter of finding one with the features that best suit your business’s needs – even those you don’t know about yet. When you roll out the new software, you won’t necessarily be able to pinpoint everything you need. Daily use and market changes may create other requirements. Consider a hypothetical subsidiary acquisition that makes a company rethink its management accounting. Can the company modify the ERP software’s settings or will it have to call in consultants to deal with the coding?

  • It’s always worth considering your potential publisher and integrator’s agility:
  • Is the company responsive?
  • How does it roll out updates?
  • How will it help you with any needs that arise?
  • What happens if you have to restructure your accounting system?

Practical, specific answers will help you make a quicker decision!

Software companies should offer their customers more flexibility. And it’s up to customers to encourage this by demanding high-quality services tailored to their needs. An emerging trend underlines this approach, forcing software publishers to adapt quickly while making it easier for CFOs, CEOs and project implementation consultants to choose: online evaluation and comparison tools. Although they’re still relatively unknown in France, there are a few notable examples, such as G2 Crowd, GetApp and Celge.


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