In this series, we offer the reader pointers from years of experience implementing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. The blog series will have a consistent format – Advice on 5 points and offering additional points if the reader so chooses.
To view other parts of the 5 Points of Consideration for ERP Implementation click the links below:
- Why Replace your ERP?
- Who Will Implement your ERP? (This Blog)
- Prepare for a Demonstration
- Project Execution
- Key Project Execution Components for your ERP Implementation
5 Things to Consider in How to Select your ERP |
Who will implement it?
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are essential for distributors and manufacturers in the highly competitive current economy. Well-implemented ERP systems, streamline business processes, improve efficiencies, and enhance decision-making. But with a multitude of options available in the market, selecting the right ERP can be a daunting task. In this blog post, we will explore some factors when selecting an ERP. This is for the SME (Small to Medium Size Enterprise) audience.
Who is the publisher?
ERP products are very complicated software systems, but this should be transparent to you. In other words, the user experience should be positive. Large software companies, like SAP, can deliver such products. There are many ERP software publishers, especially in the North American market. Good things to look for include: Install base, partner solutions, an active road map, and the functional depth of the product. These become clearer when there is a solid company (aka “publisher”) behind the product. It is especially important to look at the long-term track record of the publisher. ERP systems have evolved over time, and many publishers have come and gone. Pick one who has longevity.
Who is the implementer?
The success of an ERP deployment depends on the skills and expertise of the implementation team. Considering “who” will do the implementation (likely a Value Added Reseller) is the number one priority. Make sure to evaluate their track record, experience, and references. Things you want include knowledge of the software, experience in learning your business, and the ability to work with your internal people. Ask your VAR lots of questions and make sure they also ask you questions too! On your side, you’ll need good people to implement. These folks will “learn to fish”, ensuring that the project stays on track, the software works in your business, and progress is communicated to the stakeholders.
Product functions - The overwhelming many – versus the vital few
ERP systems come with a range of features and functions. However, not all functions will be relevant to your business. It is essential to identify the critical ones, essential for your business. Then, ensure that the ERP system you select has those functions and that they have been demonstrated. For example, if your business relies heavily on alerts and approvals, ensure that the ERP system you choose has automation capabilities.
Can grow - scalability and future development.
When selecting an ERP system, it is essential to consider whether it can accommodate your business's future growth. As your business expands, your ERP system should be able to scale and adapt to meet your changing needs. Additionally, consider the publisher's track record of releasing updates and enhancements to their ERP system to ensure the ERP is up to date with changing business requirements.
Your budget - Price…yes, important. Value …absolutely more important than price!
While price is an important consideration when selecting an ERP system, it should not be the only factor. It is essential to consider the overall value that the system will provide to your business. A lower-priced ERP system may seem a more attractive option initially, but it may not offer the same level of functionality or support as a more expensive system. It is important to evaluate the cost, but also the return on your investment. Try to create a vision of the ERP deployed in your company – the so-called “future state”.
In conclusion, selecting the right ERP system requires careful consideration of various factors, including the publisher, the VAR, your implementation team, product functions, scalability, budget, and installation base. Include these considerations and select an ERP accordingly.
To download the full checklist of items for determining who should implement your ERP - download the checklist below.