There are thousands of so-called ERP experts out there. But the truth is no one understands your business like you do. You may be one of the few that has reviewed and evaluated ERP programs extensively before. But, odds are that it’s probably been a few years, and the ERP landscape is rapidly changing. For over 15 years we’ve been helping thousands of companies properly find fitting ERP software solutions. We work with over 4,000 accounting and ERP products. It’s impossible to stay on top of the constantly changing landscape of the ERP software industry, and that’s something we’ve experienced first-hand. The good news is we’ve created a roadmap to help you choose the ERP program that makes the best financial sense for your organization.
We’ve heard numerous horror stories from failed ERP selections and implementations. We suggest doing some online research on some of the implementation failures. Get a feel for the wasted time and money that some companies have experienced by trying to take shortcuts and not properly identifying the right ERP program. You can quickly gain a sense of the importance of properly assessing your business, evaluating, and selecting the right ERP software. There are thousands of knowledgeable ERP consultants and providers out there. But trying to find one without a hidden agenda can be very difficult. Most ERP consultants have an invested interest in certain solutions. Many ERP consultants are limited to vertical industry exposure with a limited range in experience with company size.
It’s important that you take an unbiased approach into your software search. Don’t waste valuable time and money researching and evaluating ERP software that misses the target. If you’re considering an ERP system for your business or looking to replace an existing accounting/ERP system, keep in mind that the evaluation and selection is an important process that can lead to long term efficiencies for your organization. To help guide you through the ERP evaluation and selection process, we’ve summarized over 15 years of insight on the methods we’ve seen work the best.
Step 1: Assess Your Business Processes
What’s being done well and what can be improved? This is a long term strategic decision for your company. Whether you’ll be implementing your first ERP solution or upgrading to a state-of-the-art industry-specific ERP solution, these questions can help you determine if purchasing an ERP solution will be beneficial. These questions will also help you to better identify current obstacles and gaps in your business processes. You may want to form an evaluation committee to involve each department to gain enterprise wide visibility and acceptance.
The business process questions you should ask include:
- Do you have industry-specific requirements beyond the ability of your current system?
- Is slow report writing or a lack of available reports preventing your company from making timely decisions?
- Is the productivity of your employees subdued by your current system(s)? Can you identify a direct cost benefit in making those employees more productive?
- Are your employees, partners, and vendors able to access company data over the web and via mobile devices? Is this something you could benefit from?
- Does lack of flexibility hurt your company’s ability to keep up with new and more complex business processes?
- Can you use your system to automate job costing, sales orders, supply chain management, and/or other industry-specific requirements?