There are options upon options available for your business when it comes to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. All of the options can sometimes seem overwhelming. The biggest mistake you can make when choosing an ERP system is forcing a system into your company and thinking that it will conform to your specific needs. Here are a few things to keep in mind and ask yourself when pick the ERP that is right for your business.
You have a vision of what a good new ERP system looks like. You know where your current pain points are. Now is the time to be flexible. Investigate options – including systems you might not have originally thought about. There may be an industry-specific niche solution that works well for you, particularly when connected with a solid accounting system, that can let you manifest that vision.
Also remember that when you are implementing a new system, being flexible with your processes can give you considerably more options. One of the worst things you can do is try to force a new ERP system to work *exactly* the way your old one did. You lose functionality and often make your life considerably more difficult if you do this – and it brings up an important question: if your team isn’t willing to change, why invest in a new system at all?
What is a Realistic Implementation Plan?
Be realistic about your implementation time frame. Your team already has full time jobs – and you are adding in an implementation on top of that. Work with your implementer and create a realistic implementation plan that leaves room for things to slip, people to be out sick, or data migration simply to take longer than expected. Don’t pressure yourself to meet an unrealistic deadline – you’ll be happier in the long run. Remember that your implementation team is going to tell you what they think is reasonable – and they do this for a living. If you are trying to shorten that time frame, understand the risks, and be prepared if they agree to a stretch goal that you may or may not make it. Speed of implementation isn’t worth cutting corners and ending up unhappy.
Understand the Publisher’s Future Direction
You want to look at what your software publisher’s innovation track record is. Are they constantly pushing to keep you up with technology? Or are they sitting safely in a space where they do not innovate until they absolutely have to? Which approach fits your company best?
Investing time and money into your new ERP system means not only looking at how it fits you today, but how it is likely to fit your business 5 years down the line. You want a system that will grow and scale with you, and help you transform your business in the future.