What Is ERP and Why Is the Software Evaluation Process So Important?
Once limited mostly to large businesses, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is being discussed and increasingly implemented by companies of all sizes—even small businesses—across virtually all industries, including construction, retail, services, and manufacturing of every type.
A modern ERP Software, properly evaluated and selected, could streamline processes across your enterprise. Order processing, billing, inventory management, and more can be integrated.
Discover ERP Features
Workflow is thus streamlined, internal communications and customer service are improved, and record-keeping is automated and more accurate.
According to a Senior Business Systems Analyst, “The job card software evaluation process can be complex, but selecting and implementing a system that is not the best fit for your specific business can result in lost investment, wasted time, and lost productivity. In fact, nearly 50 per cent of ERP implementations fail the first time around.”
Your business may already have some form of ERPNext in place, but, just as with other technology, user requirements evolve over time—as do available software features and functions—and these changes demand a periodic review and reassessment to make sure your software still meets the requirements of your business.
Once you have begun the CRM software selection journey, you’ll need to know how to evaluate the solution possibilities. In this post, we’ll look at five major factors to keep in mind.
- What Does the ERP System Need To Do for Your Business?
A good evaluation starts with assessing your current business needs and processes to determine what you will need from an ERP solution. This can take some time, especially for larger companies or companies with complex processes, but it is supremely important to do. This step can help you support your business case for a manufacturing software, plus zero in on the functionality you will need right out of the gate.
How RFP Templates Can Help
A quick way to initiate this process is to start with a list of industry-standard functions and features of an ERP, particularly ones geared toward the type of business you’re in. This can be achieved using a request for proposal (RFP) template.
An RFP template is a convenient tool to use during an evaluation for two key reasons. First, it serves as a handy way to gather your requirements—if the representatives of your company’s different departments all review the same template, the features and functions that are required for their processes will become apparent. Second, the RFP template allows you to prioritize the list of features and functions normally covered by ehs software.
You may or may not need some of these because of the nature of your company. For example, perhaps automated billing is an absolute must for your business, but maybe customs-clearance tracking for shipping is completely unnecessary because you don’t do business across international borders.
- What Do ERP Software Providers Offer? Get Specific
ERP solutions are not one-size-fits-all and your selection shouldn’t just be based on buying the most popular hvac service software out there. Shop around to see what ERP software providers offer, including what will fit your needs and budget.
Many ERP software vendors sell solutions that are designed for specific industries, such as manufacturing, retail, professional services, and so on. An industry-specific ERP could help ensure you get what you need from the ERP solution, as well as minimize future costly customizations you might need to fill any gaps.
ERP Software Reviews and Buyer’s Guides Can Help
Researching and scheduling demos with various software vendors can take considerable time. One way to narrow down the choices and a select a few to focus on is to read ERP software reviews. You can find both user reviews and industry-expert reviews of ERP software solutions in industry publications and from independent analyst firms .
Reviews are an excellent way to become familiar with industry-specific offerings or ERP solutions designed with your type of company in mind (for example, a small business, a retail chain, or a discrete manufacturer).
- Should You Replace Your Current System or Upgrade?
Evaluating ERP software may mean evaluating your current ERP system. If you’re currently running an field service management software but it’s no longer meeting your needs, an important decision to make will be whether to buy and replace your current solution or upgrade your existing ERP with the latest available by your current vendor. Each choice has its pros and cons so it’s essential to assess each thoroughly.
Replacing a current system with a brand new one can be quite beneficial, as ERP technology has changed dramatically in the past 5 to 10 years. If you have an older, legacy system, and would like to take advantage of offerings such as greater mobility, specialized add-ons, deployment options including SaaS and Cloud ERP—we look into these options later on—then replacing your current ERP might be the only choice. However, the costs associated with this can be quite extensive, not to mention the problems that could occur migrating your data and processes to the new system.
Another option is upgrading your current solution to the latest offering provided by your current supplier, provided that a major upgrade will satisfy any functional gaps you have with your current system.
- What About Ease of Use and Ease of Integration?
A feature and functionality check is an important step in an evaluation, but ngo accounting software characteristics such as ease of use and technology integration are also important factors to take into consideration. It’s crucial to involve your own IT team in the process.
You’ll have to dig a little deeper into product videos, brochures, fact sheets, and other content to find out more about such characteristics and how different software companies approach them.
Product Demos for More Thorough Evaluation of Ease of Use and Integration
At a certain stage of your selection process—once you’ve narrowed down your options—you can schedule demos with selected software vendors.
- What Platform Works Best for Your Business?
An additional factor to consider when evaluating ERP solutions is the platform. Do you wish to run the software on your own in-house equipment, or would a hosted solution make more sense?
Today’s ERP solutions come in a myriad of platforms and deployment options, including cloud-based ERPs, and each carry distinct advantages and disadvantages.