Choosing an ERP is a tough decision for any company. While it is potentially essential for growth as it will become the backbone of the company’s activity, it will also become the cornerstone for managing this activity. Choosing an ERP is then an important decision which should not be taken lightly. You’ve got the message, don’t mess it up!
Choose an ERP specific to your profession
Many companies are too hasty in choosing a generalist ERP because they believe it is suitable for all business sectors. However there are available ERPs aimed at specific business sectors; great news for businesses looking for a solution adapted to their individual needs. An ERP which has been designed and created for a specific sector is more likely to integrate seamlessly with a particular organisation or area of expertise. Do not opt for a generalist ERPs which may be cheaper or be more well known, but are also less suitable...you’ll avoid a lot of headaches when trying to use your software!
What functions should an efficient ERP have?
Choosing the right ERP means taking an interest in the functions on offer. What will it allow you to do? What do you want to be able to do?
To make an informed choice, try listing the functions you consider essential (your must haves!) and those you think might be interesting but that you could live without (your ‘nice to haves’). It’s not a letter to Father Christmas! Keep a cool head at all times, you’re unlikely to find anything that is a 100% match. Concentrate on the essentials, keeping in mind that the best option for you will be the ERP that, in its original state (excluding customisation) has the most must-have functions.
Find out as much as you can
In order to assess the quality and efficiency of an ERP, there is nothing better than meeting with actual users. Are current users happy with their ERP? Is it in line with current trends? Think about talking to end users rather than members of the management team, and analyse whether they are more productive and whether repetitive tasks are avoided with the ERP as they’re using it. Getting the opinions of people who use the ERP on a daily basis will help you get a precise, objective and realistic idea of the quality of the product you are interested in.
Anticipate the future of the ERP
An ERP can be perfect in the moment, but can lose its efficiency as time goes on. When choosing your ERP, try to examine its ability to evolve. Ask the right questions: how often will updates be offered? Will migrating to a newer version be very time consuming? Will it be expensive? How can the ERP adapt as the company evolves? All these questions will help you to find exactly the right ERP for your business. Don’t forget that the more customisation you require, the more laborious, complicated and expensive it will be to update your ERP. Yet another reason to choose a sector specific solution, which already has the major functions you require!