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As organizations aim to grow more efficient, managing the flow of data across various departments is critical. Leaders and their employees need to be able to make informed decisions and can’t afford to be bogged down by manual processes, complicated workflows, and inaccurate analytics.
That’s why many businesses have turned to enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solutions, a unified application that assists in managing core business activities more efficiently. ERP’s gather real-time data across the enterprise and compile it into a single platform, aiding in the management of information flow.
If you’re looking for the right ERP software system for your business, we’ve put together six things to consider.
1. Access Your Business Needs
Before you begin, you’ll need to conduct an evaluation of your organization’s unique needs from its challenges to its goals and objectives, according to Webnox Technologies. A Medium article by Robocoder Corporation suggests identifying and listing all critical business processes that drive your organization. Once you’ve done that, you can map out the current workflow for each one, which will help identify bottlenecks, redundancies, and areas for improvement.
What Is an ERP?
“ERP stands for enterprise resource planning, a unified application that assists enterprises in managing their core business activities efficiently. This software helps industries in their day-to-day functions by gathering real-time data from various departments including finance, human resources, supply chain, and manufacturing on a single platform, which helps to manage the flow of data across various departments within a firm.” —Webnox Technologies
Goya Foods CFO Miguel Lugo and his team pursued a new ERP system to manage information and cash flow in the finance department. Other leaders might have a need to improve the way inventory or customer relationships are managed. In both cases, understanding these needs are critical to find the right system for you.
2. Establish Your Budget
Your budget will need to be realistic. That means not only taking the initial investment into account but also considering overall costs associated with an ERP implementation. Common costs include licensing fees, implementation fees, and maintenance fees.
According to Software Path, you can expect to spend about $9,000 on each user of your system. For a midsized business, it could cost anywhere between $150,000 to $750,000. Software Path’s research also found that roughly 26 percent of employees are users of such systems.
3. Strategize the Deployment
To decide between a cloud-based or on-site ERP system, weigh the pros and cons of each option. Cloud ERP offers better scalability, accessibility, and reduced infrastructure costs. On-premises solutions allow for greater control over data security and compliance.
4. Research, Research, Research!
Access the various ERP software out there while considering the industry-specific functions, scalability, and user-friendliness. It’s also a good idea to check out what other people are saying about them and gauging how they are reviewed.
Make sure the system provides the flexibility to be customized to align with your enterprise processes. Additionally, examine the software’s ability to integrate with your existing tech stack, which includes CRM systems, e-commerce platforms, and other tools.
ERP Software Options
- SAP Business One
- Microsoft Dynamics 365
- Oracle NetSuite
- Webnox ERP
- Epicor ERP
- Infor Cloud Suite
Another important and often overlooked consideration for ERP selection is whether it offers user training. Ensure that the vendor offers an array of training resources and comprehensive documentation.
Once you’ve researched these things, create a checklist of ERP systems that align with your needs and compare them.
5. Look into Vendor Reputation
To understand a vendors’ track record, examine case studies, reviews, client references, and industry publications. Look for clues that give insight into their responsiveness, domain experience, and the resources they offer.
6. Determine Scalability and Data Security Measures
Make sure that your chosen ERP is allowed to adapt to the changes of your industry and business needs. That includes through enterprise expansion and technological advancements.
Another non-negotiable is for the ERP to align with data security regulations pertinent to your industry. The ability to safeguard sensitive information is pivotal for adhering to the laws that govern your field and the values that your organization holds close.
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