We list some things to consider when choosing the best ERP system for your business
Choosing The Right ERP System-Enterprise Resource Planning, or ERP, usually refers to a suite of software tools available for managing a whole range of daily business tasks.
An ERP system typically integrates a number of applications for use across the business into one platform. This can include tasks such as accounting, project management, and supply chain operations.
A complete ERP suite also tends to include performance management software which is built in to help plan, budget and predict the overall financial results of an organisation.
Organisations big and small rely on ERP systems to help manage day-to-day activities and operations while also minimising the use of too many different software packages and databases.
With many ERP vendors in the market today, choosing the right one for your business can be challenging. Computerworld UK has some tips to help you make the right choice.
1. What to consider
Every ERP system should fit well with your existing IT and back-office infrastructure. An ERP system that fits perfectly will help in transforming back-office operations, which ideally enables employees to focus on more important tasks that will grow the business rather than ‘keeping the lights on’.
Adopting the right ERP system, then, can be seen as a start to digital transformation journeys, and it is also an opportunity to embrace a modern way of working across the whole organisation.
It is equally important to identify the main benefits your organisation will get from an ERP system. This could be improved customer service, scheduling and project management services and cost reduction.
“Traditionally, the ERP system was known as a back-office tool, it was the engine room of an organisation and only saw the limelight when something went wrong, but that is all changing. Now, instead of simply focusing on what an ERP system was traditionally built for, it is about thinking outside the box and looking at what it can do for the whole organisation in new, innovative ways,” Philippa Bradley, head of UK public sector at Oracle tells Computerworld UK.
“Many organisations made the mistake of customising ERP systems beyond recognition, focusing on what the systems can do in the here and now, rather than what they could do down the line. This is no longer sustainable as businesses need to innovate at a pace demanded by customers and employees.
“When selecting an ERP system for today, but also for the future of an organisation, building a ‘vanilla’ system that is primed and ready to innovate is key,” she adds.
2. Build a project roadmap
As with every change within a business, it is always a good idea to have an outlined plan to highlight the long term goals.
Whether you are adopting ERP as part of a project or long term decision, considering the outcome of new software and technologies will help to identify what the system will enable you to achieve.
“Your roadmap should include an assessment process, where current ways of doing things are evaluated, and future goals are identified,” Andy Bell, CTO at Edenhouse Solutions says.
“Start with the end in mind – what is driving the decision you are trying to make? What frustrations are you experiencing currently? What will success look like to your business? What will you be able to do at the end of the project that you cannot do today?
“These are key questions to ask yourself before deciding on the system that will best fit your needs.”