A Guide to Enterprise Resource - ERP Selection
As a 17 year ERP consulting firm, we understand that with a myriad of ERP software options how challenging it can be to find the best fit for a mid-sized business. ERP software is generally geared toward manufacturing companies due to the complexities and logistics that the industry entails. As an investment, ERP software is critical to propelling your business’s competitive advantage. The difficult part of the investment for businesses is actually getting started.
The ERP selection process is vital to determining future business processes and technology practices of your organization. The ERP should fit what your business already does. But, perhaps the most vital piece of this process is the implementation. It doesn't take much research to determine that businesses will often sink a lot of money into these projects, and ultimately fail in their implementation. These battles are always won and lost in the implementation of the ultimate ERP selection.
More interested in how much an ERP will Cost? See our comprehensive video.
Finding the Best Fit
1. Develop a Clear and Comprehensive Plan for your ERP Implementation
What do you expect from your software?
For example: Will it allow you to manage scheduling on the shop floor, QA, support operations?
Creating a shortlist of ERP software solutions that fit your criteria is a great starting point. From there, you'll want to look at the software company history, current reviews, and look at user groups in your area to collect their feedback. This kind of data can help you feel comfortable with the actual software that your organization invests in.
2. Get Input From All Your Departments
Input from Accounting, Marketing & Sales, Engineering, and Operations will help shape which features are necessary for your ERP to possess. Ultimately, determining who will be using the software the most should be a critical part of the decision process. The end users must feel like the software helps them be more efficient.
3. Determine TCO & ROI
Compare software licensing fees, implementation costs, maintenance and upgrade fees, the cost of hardware, networks and hosting. there's a lot to consider when making up the cost. We provide a full breakdown here.
4. Evaluate ERP Software Quality
Make sure your software partner has a proven implementation methodology that meets your needs and budget. Many implementations fail; meaning they are not adopted, are abandoned, or become cost prohibitive due to improper practices. Implementations must be performed by professionals. See an example of implementation best practices.
5. Evaluate Vendor Quality
- Will your ERP vendor be in business for the next 5 years, 10 years?
- How long will the deployment take?
- Will they have consultants on-hand for in-person visits? In our experience, these visits can make or break a critical project.