Choosing an ERP can be difficult. The reasons for ERP systems are very clear. The ERP system you choose is a platform for the different functional areas of your company to grow into an integrated whole. It’s an umbrella that covers and conjoins all lines of business and systems so you can share data across your operations and make better, data-driven decisions. Work smarter by choosing and implementing an ERP software solution for efficiency and transparency in business processes that include everything from purchasing and procurement, manufacturing and inventory management to sales and marketing, and sales and customer relationship management.
Adequate organizational resources must be committed to obtaining the right system and implementing it. The costs of a failed implementation can be enormous, far beyond wasted financial investment, and include disrupted business functions, employee dissatisfaction, and customer dissatisfaction. Dissatisfied employees and customers leaving the company is the worst thing for your business. Therefore, the ERP planning and selection process is critical to a successful ERP purchase.
Below are five key criteria to consider before choosing an ERP system.
- ERP Platform Should Be Flexible and Scalable
A list of current requirements and needs should not be the only guide to purchasing decisions. You also need to acknowledge what features you will need as your business grows and changes in the future. Your ERP system should be flexible enough to grow as your business grows. A “bad” ERP system will be obsolete in five to ten years. This flexibility should be built into your ERP system. Otherwise, a “rigid” ERP system can become a hindrance rather than a support for growth. This is probably the worst-case scenario.
Going beyond the system’s standard capabilities and looking at how easy it is for an ERP system to adapt to changing business needs and integrate new technologies are the main concerns. If your ability to customize a particular ERP system is overly restrictive, it might be worth looking elsewhere. You don’t want to “break” new technology or be forced to implement complex workarounds for an inflexible ERP system. What an ERP system needs is a growth platform. That means it’s flexible enough to support growth and integrate new technologies. Pursuing ERP agility future-proofs your business. This is very important.
- ERP Should be Mobile-Friendly
With the advent of the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) workplace, more and more business users are accessing workflows and data on their mobile devices. By enabling employees to work anywhere, anytime, productivity has increased significantly. These efficiencies cannot be realized when mobile capabilities are limited.
No business owner would want to tie their employees to desktops and offices. Imagine a sales representative who can’t access critical customer data while on the road, and is tethered to a desktop when they want to access critical customer data. How happy and effective would that seller be? Business data must be accessible from anywhere.
Choose an ERP solution with a dashboard that is mobile-friendly and accessible anytime, anywhere. On-the-go employees can easily access critical workflows and data, avoiding lengthy downtime. Allowing an employee to enter data directly in the field reduces the risk of errors that occur when data is collected by him in one place and has to be re-entered into the system at a later time. Mobile enablement is a very important ERP feature and should be requested.
- Testimonials and Recommendations Should be Available
ERP software vendors should be able to provide the names of a few customers to contact and gain insight into the overall implementation process. You can’t just focus on the software itself, but you should correctly consider the collaborative experience the vendor’s implementation team provides and the overall technical/business acumen in working with a company like yours. In many cases, when an ERP system does not perform as expected, it is not necessarily due to a software defect, but rather an implementation error such as poor communication.
Listening is just as important as building responsive and strong relationships. Change isn’t just about technology, it’s about processes and people. Staffing is not “soft,” so you need to build strong working relationships between your staff and those of your ERP vendor to ensure they are trustworthy.
- ERP Software Should be Easy to Use
Each functional area of the company routinely processes certain types of data but does not use other types of data. The user experience should be customizable for each user so that only the most relevant information is displayed. This includes contextualization for international businesses that require region-specific data and units of measure for all locations. At its core, a good ERP system can present the right information to the right people at the right time in a simple and accessible way.
- Long-term Costs
It’s easy to get bogged down in initial costs, but long-term Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) should be considered. Consider the long-term implementation costs associated with change management. Your ERP system should be configured to reflect your future business processes. This allows ERP systems and vendors to evolve as processes evolve.
Tecomsa is the best Odoo/ERP provider in Lebanon and has the best team to make your ERP experience memorable and easy.