There are hundreds of ERP options in the marketplace today and selecting the right package for your business can be a tedious task.
Most companies think that any software will work and their organizations will simply adapt to the functionality of the software. But the most publicized ERP failures show that this isn’t the best solution. Moreover, since ERP is supposed to be a transformational business initiative providing key competitive advantages to your company, the decision shouldn’t be taken lightly or made without acquiring complete information.
So, how do you find the ERP solution that’s going to be the best fit for your organization? Here are five crucial steps to help you choose the right ERP software for your organization. Take a look.
Conducting review and analysis
Before you choose an ERP solution, you should first define your current business processes, pain points, and strengths to understand which areas need help. In this analysis, you should also include what you think your processes should look like in the future and the corresponding business requirements. These processes and requirements should be addressed by the solutions provided by potential software vendors to demonstrate their product’s capabilities within the context of your business needs.
Determine the total cost of ownership
One of the major factors that you should take care of while purchasing an ERP solution are the ‘hidden costs’. The ERP software sales reps are usually interested in downplaying the costs and risks associated with purchasing their software. So, make sure that you are aware of all kinds of hidden costs associated with ERP, including implementation costs, hardware upgrades, backfilling your project team resources, software maintenance, and so on.
Assess the technical fit
Although ERP is mostly a business rather than a technology initiative, it is imperative to determine if the potential software solution will align and integrate with your current infrastructure. A good ERP solution should be able to integrate with your present architecture seamlessly and help you work on
Develop a realistic deployment plan
The vendor implementation duration estimates are usually just a way to make a sale. Some vendors say they’ll do it in a month while others are ready to do it in a week. So, it’s crucial to develop a comprehensive project plan that includes not just the activities required to install the software, but the ones that are required to ensure that the solution is fully functional, tested, and known to end-users. Before making your final software decision, you should have this plan in place so that you can fully comprehend the cost and resource commitments required to make the project a success. Your deployment project plan should include everything from business process and workflow design to data migration, conference room pilot, multiple test iterations, training, and key organizational change management activities.
Track the potential business benefits of the new system
Your ERP is of no use if you don’t use it to measure the growth rate of your business. If you’re looking at ERP as a way to reduce costs, increase revenue, or scale for growth, then you should estimate and measure benefits against these metrics if you are going to realize the full potential of your ERP.