As an owner or manager of a small or mid-size business struggling to keep up with technology and changing business environments, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Should you keep limping along with multiple, unconnected systems, or bite the bullet and implement an ERP system? The ERP evaluation process isn’t easy, but with a few guiding principles you can prepare your company for the future.
Practical advice for ERP selection
- Define critical requirements first – Don’t get sidetracked with the bells and whistles of the applications you review. Before you start, define the functionality that is critical to your organization and stay focused. Communicate your requirements to your vendors and require that they focus on those requirements in their presentations.
- Double check references – Go the extra mile when you check references provided by a vendor. The more clients you speak to, the better picture you will get of not only the vendor’s products, but also their level of customer service for all their clients – and not just their best clients.
- Don’t overthink it – It’s easy to get into “analysis paralysis” with such an important decision. Once you have decided to take the plunge into ERP, keep moving forward and find the best fit for your requirements. Create a realistic project timeline to maintain momentum and keep the project on track.
- Choose the evaluation team carefully – Choosing a new ERP system is a business decision, not an IT decision. While IT should be involved, the evaluation team must make certain that the product fulfills the critical business elements that are needed for the organization’s success.
- Partner for project success – Once you have found the right solution for your organization, make sure that you have the right partner as well. The implementation partner you choose will make the difference between success and failure. Choose an organization that understands your business.
Prepare for the future
Selecting an ERP system is a big step for a modest business organization. Choosing the right ERP system will build the foundation for growth for many years to come. Find out how you can transition from spreadsheets and disconnected software to a fully integrated ERP system. Call us today.
Published on 27th January 2012 by Jeanne DeWitt.