The market is full of ERP systems of various shapes and sizes. Each of them boasts unique features that can help companies increase efficiency and touch new heights. Therefore, it isn’t hard to believe that the global ERP software market will hit $78 billion+ by 2026. Although ERP software offers myriad benefits, not all of them serve every business.
There is a widespread belief that companies should first purchase the ERP software and then adapt themselves to the software’s functionality. But lack of attention can prove to be a very costly affair.
ERP software can completely transform how businesses function. So companies have to lay down a well-thought-out strategy before making the final purchase. They must weigh the pros and cons and check whether the ERP software provides them a competitive advantage over other industry players.
Let’s see 5 critical factors that companies must keep in mind while selecting the right ERP software for themselves.
Different businesses have different needs. If you are a manufacturer, then your primary need is to process raw materials into finished products. If you are a supplier or distributor, your principal need is to maintain a good logistics network. If you provide customer support, your primary need is to have a quick and robust communication network. Thus, it’s necessary to prepare a list of your challenges before you start looking for vendors.
Does your company follow a top-down hierarchy where the senior management takes all decisions? Does the end-user have a little/no say in decision-making?
Well, you cannot do much to change how your company functions, but you can give positive inputs in the following ways:
Once you begin your search for the ideal ERP software, you will talk to many vendors. Here is an advice that you should always keep in mind. ERP vendors, like other vendors, will try to downplay the costs and risks related to the ERP. Some of them will also try hiding associated costs — hardware upgrades, software updates, employee training programs, implementation costs, etc.
Before making the final purchase, you should browse through multiple vendors and check what features they provide and the associated costs. The famous idiom “Precaution is better than cure” applies perfectly over here because you cannot backtrack once you purchase the ERP software. So it’s better to base your decisions on data and customer reviews rather than false advertisements and gut feeling.
Once you have selected the vendor and have purchased the ERP software, it’s time to build a full-fledged implementation plan. The plan should consist of the following:
Apart from the points mentioned above, companies should also conduct end-user analysis to know whether the new ERP software has brought a significant change in their work. You should also periodically check whether the ERP software is performing well as per the set metrics. If it doesn’t fulfill your business objectives, you should call the vendor for assistance and bring the necessary changes.
The business landscape is like a flowing river that keeps changing. Yesterday’s “wants” become tomorrow’s “needs.” What appeared like a revolutionary feature a few years back becomes the norm today.
Improving over the past is what the future is, right? But the problem lies somewhere else.
Many technical breakthroughs happen globally, but not all ERP vendors embrace them. Traditional vendors play safe and don’t change with time, making it all the more important to search for new vendors that welcome technology with open arms.
Most companies keep only a handful of attributes while searching for vendors such as:
The above-described features are non-essential. Companies should consider them after including the following essential elements:
Remember that business-critical attributes change with time. So don’t have the wrong impression that once you have purchased the ERP software, the search is complete. It is an indefinite search that only becomes challenging with time.
ERP software will enable your company to become blazingly fast and efficient. It’s the surest way to increase your production multiple times, perform transactions at a lightning-fast speed, and provide immense value to your customers.
Choosing the Right ERP Software is the most crucial step in the entire process as it actually decides what you can expect as an outcome towards the end. Some of the most important steps you would want to focus on at are
1. Doing extensive market research about some vendors that have a proven track record
2. Understand the ownership cost
3. Create a goal aligned implementation plan
4. Set a product demo and ask for a trial
5. Be clear on the pros and cons of On-cloud and On-premise setup