5 Things to Look for When Selecting a New ERP System
Feeling overwhelmed by the infinite options of ERP solutions out there? You are not alone. With the ever-expanding list of ERP solutions, finding the right option for your team can seem endless. In order to ensure you get this decision right, it’s important to establish a set of criteria to use when evaluating different solutions. Make sure your new ERP system possesses these 5 key items to ensure you choose a solution that will allow your business to continue to be successful for years to come.
Having an ERP solution that will keep pace with your ever-growing business is a major feature to look for. If you choose to expand into a new venture, acquire another company, add a location, or have a major increase in business, you will need your system to be able to handle the changes. Many ERP options require major changes or lengthy re-implementations to allow for this scalability.
Software such as NetSuite allows for a speedy implementation of these changes. It is important to look for a solution that easily allows for:
- Multiple taxation options
- Multi-language capabilities
- Ease of use when adding subsidiaries or additional business dimensions
Finding these abilities in the software before selection and implementation will help with easing the pain down the road should your company face a change.
In today’s day and age where companies are having increasingly flexible work environments, it is important that their ERP system can be accessible wherever their employees are. Solutions that are multi-tenant have a single instance of the software, and its supporting infrastructure serves multiple customers. This takes away much of the software upkeep costs.
Unlike solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics GP, which tend to be an on-premise solution or a single tenant hosted solution, NetSuite is a 100% cloud and multi-tenant solution. A system that is cloud-based and not hosted in-house cuts down on hardware upkeep and allows users to do their job from anywhere at any time.
In addition to where you can access your ERP, you should look for a solution that allows you to view the data from your system in a report or dashboard. Being able to easily manipulate dashboards and reports in your system is a huge benefit. With some systems, adjusting reports and dashboards is so complex it could require an advanced programming degree to get a simple total. Software such as NetSuite gives users the ability to customize their reports and dashboards as needed with little training and guidance.
The cost of an ERP system is a large consideration. There are several factors to think of when evaluating the cost of the system, including:
- Implementation cost
- Annual software cost
- Upgrade costs
- User costs
- Additional applications
In some instances, a new ERP may include functionality that can replace some of your current third-party applications. For your team, map out what is important when it comes to cost, understand the number of users and customizations you may need, and the costs surrounding additional applications you use.
The financial cost is not the only consideration. It’s also important to think of the non-monetary costs that your team incurs. Some solutions may require added time to implement or be inefficient with your current processes. While some systems may look like they cost more upfront, there may be a longer-term savings when users are able to get things done more efficiently.
Your company should think through all of these different cost areas when assessing a new ERP and be sure that all of your major needs are met. This is an important part of your cost analysis when determining if a particular solution fits in your budget.
Most companies have several third-party solutions in place that they want to continue to use. This may include a CRM such as Salesforce, a payroll company such as ADP or a tax management software such as Avalara. Finding an ERP that easily integrates with numerous solutions is so important.
With single tenant, locally hosted solutions, integration usually requires local customizations, manual import/exports, or worst yet, no integration options leading to dual entry between systems. A cloud-based solution like NetSuite offers a wide variety of integration options and works with data integration solutions such as Dell Boomi. This enables the connection of applications and data sources into NetSuite with minimal development resources.
When looking for an ERP, map out what integrations you currently have or may need in the future and ensure that there are straight forward options for your data to sync between systems as you need.
Ease of implementation is key when changing ERP systems. While most implementations will require a large amount of time and resources, finding a system with a straightforward implementation plan, an easy way to load historic data and lists, and clear objectives will help to cutdown on the likelihood of facing significant problems.
During your system research, understand the stages of your software implementation and how your team members will be involved. Planning the project out in advance helps the team operate with clear initiatives and helps to keep the project on time and budget.
Having top-down buy-in and excitement for the implementation is a major key to success. Ensure that during the implementation, there are methods of keeping the software stakeholders up-to-date on the project and allow for their input if they have any hesitations on the project.
When selecting a software, make sure you are finding a solution with a solid ERP implementation plan to ensure that the process runs smoothly and efficiently.
Prophet One Can Help
Undergoing an ERP software selection can be a lengthy, strenuous process. While ensuring your new software can handle these 5 important items, there are many other factors to consider when choosing the right solution for you. Once you know the right areas to look for, you can start to narrow down your list.
Prophet One offers a unique Client First Integration Approach™ to help you create a stronger overall organization. We listen to you in order to understand your business challenges and your current technology environment. Then, we’ll work with you to provide customized ERP recommendations that address the unique needs of your business.