Are your considering setting up an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software at your company? No matter what the reason (reducing costs, increasing your productivity or your revenue, etc.), you need to put more thought into the matter before obtaining quotes from recommended providers. After all, this system will become the centrepiece of your software infrastructure. Make too hasty of a decision and you risk choosing an ERP that doesn’t meet all your company’s needs. Here are the basic criteria to consider to ensure the ERP you choose becomes the business launching pad you were hoping for.
Your company’s current and future needs
To make the best choice, you must understand the technological needs an ERP can satisfy. Take a more long-term point of view. Besides creating a list of your current needs, think about your company’s future needs. This evaluation of your business needs is dependent on your strategic plan. What exactly does that involve? The point of view of all its eventual users is essential for determining the critical needs to be fulfilled. Your co-workers understand their job descriptions, daily activities and challenges in dealing with your current system, if there are any. They must be consulted during the first phase of the project.
The flexibility of the desired product
The ERP software will be with you for the long haul, over many years. The solution you choose must be sufficiently flexible to adapt to your company’s future activities. In fact, industry trends or your own expansion projects might require the addition of modules or functionalities. The solution must also allow you to keep up with the waves of technological evolution to come. The reality of today is not necessarily that of tomorrow! The interface must not only be adaptable to the needs you have determined in advance, but also be easy to use, intuitive and up to date, both now and for years to come. But no matter what, deploying this kind of system is a dream opportunity for rethinking your processes.
The reliability and sustainability of the intended solution
Before selecting a provider, information about the publisher should be assembled. Their experience in creating software and the organizational stability of their team of developers are two items of interest you should take into consideration. You can also try to obtain references attesting to the quality of the desired product. Even better, perhaps, is to select a product that has already proven its worth in your business sector! Since it acts as the cornerstone of your software infrastructure, an ERP needs to be sustainable. In particular, you should obtain information on the frequency of updates needed, functionalities to come in the future and any glitches encountered in the past year.
The total cost of the project
There are not only initial costs to consider. To be able to “compare apples with apples,” selected providers must submit detailed proposals and conform to the evaluation of your needs. Demand a precise estimation of additional programming costs. Cost estimates must obviously include set-up costs for the ERP at your company and any supplementary costs for the subsequent training of users. No matter the situation, adopting a systematic approach will limit the costs associated with choosing an ERP. The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) also offers a 10-step guide for choosing the technology that’s right for you.
The quality of technical support offered
There’s technology… and then there are people! People are one of the major factors in the success of your project. The developer needs to offer options for troubleshooting, technical support if there is a problem, and resource people in case of an emergency. You wouldn’t want to find yourself stuck at the end of the day when a report has to wait for someone to make a quick decision. The software creator’s mission doesn’t end once the system is installed. Want to learn more about the subject so you can make the right choice for your next ERP system? Download our free guide and discover a wealth of advice that will help you make an informed decision.