We’ve previously discussed the importance of finding an ERPNext vendor who can meet all your functionality requirements, and the difference between custom software vs. out-of-the box software, but there are other important factors to consider. Functionality and cost should not be the only criteria on which you evaluate vendors, given that the software market is somewhat saturated with similar product offerings.
Listed below are some other important factors to use when evaluating ERP vendors.
One of the best ways to get an accurate picture of how a vendor treats its customers after making the sale is, logically enough, by speaking with current customers. Try to speak with multiple references in your industry or those who have similar business processes, and perform background research on the vendor’s implementation history.
Sales processes often vary significantly from one vendor to the next, but some red flags can be raised during the process. Do they truly understand your business needs? Have they been rushing you to a demo without adequate preliminary discussions to find out your needs? Purchasing ERP software is a large investment and should be treated as such. It is not a decision that should be made hastily.
Support can sometimes be the deciding factor when it comes to choosing between vendors. Some vendors may provide 24-hour support and international support in multiple languages where others may not. However, larger businesses with 24-hour support often outsource this process, decreasing personalization. Weigh the pros and cons of personalized support vs 24-hour support.
CRM software costs should be somewhat similar across comparable vendors. If one system seems to be significantly less expensive than the rest, further information should be gathered to determine why this is. Are similar components included? Are some costs hidden in the fine print? Is the implementation and training process less thorough or more restrictive? Watch for deceptive tactics sometimes employed to close a sale — often through low-balling or providing inaccurate cost information.
Make sure you always follow your gut as well when evaluating vendors and their sales reps, and remember to consider factors other than functionality. To learn more, download our free eBook on 6 Factors to Consider When Evaluating job card software Vendors
How to select, compare and evaluate ERP vendors
If you’ve decided that implementing an ERP could benefit your business, congratulations — you’re over the first hurdle.
When you’re suddenly faced with sorting through the hundreds of hvac service software solutions currently on the market to find the right one for you, however, that second hurdle can seem significantly higher.
By operating all of your core business processes from one solution, an ngo accounting software can make life significantly easier, but it also means added pressure to choose the right one. When you’re putting all your eggs in one basket, you need to make sure that basket is up to the job.
Luckily, you can make the ERP vendor selection process a little simpler with our practical, five-step guide. We’ve even included a free, customizable checklist for vendor evaluation criteria to help you find the right match, and an infographic which summarizes the main posts of this blog.
Determine your requirements
Before you can start the ERP vendor selection process in earnest, you need to evaluate the way you work now. Thinking about your current business processes will help you work out exactly where your new field service management software will fit in and, in turn, what functionality you need to carry out your day-to-day operations.
The idea at this stage is to build a clear picture of how your business currently operates, and how those operations could be improved.
A typical ERP will feature an array of functions, including:
- Financial management
- Human resources/capital management
- Inventory management
- Supply Chain Management
- Customer relationship management
- Business intelligence and reporting
You may not require all of these features; individual requirements will depend heavily on your business type, and while many ERPs feature facilities for the manufacturing or distribution industries, there are ERPs for just about any business type. Due to extensive variety of specialist ERPs on the market, it’s important to drill down and work out exactly what you’ll need to run your business today, as well as what you may need in the future.
A manufacturing software will potentially be used by many different departments — from accounting and HR, to sales and shipping — so you should to speak to each wing of your business and find out their thoughts on your current processes. Ask your teams how they feel they could work more efficiently, if there are any issues with your current workflow that need to be resolved, and which features they feel they could get the most out of in the future. After all, they will be the ones working with the ERP system every day, and a system can only benefit its users if they fully embrace it.
It might also help to map out a typical transaction within your company by tracking a product or service through its lifecycle — whether that begins with manufacturing a product, issuing a quote, or receiving a delivery, you can follow that path through quality assurance, picking, distribution, issuing an invoice, collecting payment, and offering customer support.
If you need an ERP that can handle your Human Capital Management, chart a similar journey through your business for an employee. Look carefully at every stage of an employee’s journey with your company, and think about what you’d need from an ERP to facilitate that process. Take the very first step a potential employee would take in joining your business; applying for a role. Do you want an ERP that can help you find, manage and assess candidates?
How about once they’re part of your team? Do you want an ehs software that will be able to automate certain HR functions, like time management and scheduling? Do you need a hub for employee development, or extensive self-services to help employees manage their own personal administration?
Financial management is another key factor to consider when assessing your ERP needs. Accounting and closing, budgeting, auditing, billing, cash flow management, and reporting are all crucial parts of ensuring a business remains profitable, so a careful appraisal of the financial tools used by your organization is paramount.