While the options for ERP (Enterprise Resource Options) systems for small and medium businesses are growing, it’s still challenging to find the right solution. Each business has unique needs and requirements, so you need to choose the software system that will address your specific situation. Help your evaluation team narrow down the choices by answering five crucial questions.
- What are the top three business problems you plan to solve with ERP? The first step in choosing the right solution for your business is to define exactly what outcomes you expect from the ERP implementation. Whether your objectives are revenue growth, increased productivity or better warehouse management, figure out the specific problems that need to be fixed first.
- What functionality will your business actually use? Though you may feel that you need an end-to-end solution that automates everything from payroll to field service management, your employees may not be ready for such a big transition. Most ERP solutions are modular and can be phased in over time. Determine your top priorities and focus on them first. Take your time to help employees adopt the system over time.
- Is your IT team capable of supporting an ERP system? Most medium-size businesses don’t have the IT resources with time to spend creating reports, building dashboards and troubleshooting user issues for an ERP system. Make sure you evaluate the ongoing support requirements of an ERP system before you commit. SaaS and hosting options can help, but there will still be user support requirements that need to be met to make the most of the investment in ERP.
- How much of the implementation can you manage? You can save money and help internal adoption if you dedicate employees to actively participate in the ERP implementation. After the outside implementation team has left, super-user employees who have learned the ins and outs of the system will help the business feel ownership of the system.
- What is the business case for ERP implementation? Tied back to Question 1, what are the financial paybacks expected from the investment in ERP. Defining specific goals and revisiting those goals after a year will help you to understand if the system is delivering full value. An ERP system should be an ever evolving tool that continues to add value to the business. Define the business case and the measurements before you get started.
Let’s talk about how you can find the best solution to meet the unique needs of your business. Call us today.
Published on 26th June 2012 by Jeanne DeWitt.