Key things to think about when choosing an ERP solution
Selecting the right IT solutions is a process that no business should undertake lightly. Tools such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) software will underpin almost everything an organisation does, so if they are slow, underpowered or are complex to use, this will have a huge negative impact on a company’s productivity.
However, many companies – and smaller businesses in particular, may find it overwhelming when trying to determine what is the best option for their needs. With so many choices available and a wide range of functionality on offer, not all of which will be relevant to every firm, it’s easy to make mistakes.
That said, here are a few key factors that all companies should bear in mind when evaluating and selecting business software.
Keep all end-users involved
A common mistake is to implement a system chosen by the IT department or board with little to no consideration of how end-users in other departments will react to it. There will always be some resistance to change, and if a new system proves to be complex or unintuitive for employees, there will be even more confusion and a lack of acceptance.
Therefore, it’s important that stakeholders from across the business who will use the software are involved in the process from the earliest stages. This allows them to offer their thoughts and suggestions for necessary features and understand how it will be integrated into their way of working.
Make sure you choose the right deployment option
With cloud computing technology now firmly in the mainstream, many businesses may automatically assume this will be the best option for their ERP deployment. But while the cloud can offer many advantages, such as better scalability, simple pricing and improved support for mobile and remote workers, it may not suit every business.
Some companies may find the level of control and customisation that they can get from an on-premises solution can’t be matched by cloud alternatives, which offer a more ‘off the shelf’ configuration. There’s no one right answer that applies to every business, so make sure you’ve fully evaluated the pros and cons of each deployment model to ensure you get a system that meets your needs.
Identify what features you’ll need
It’s easy for businesses to become distracted by the huge number of features that are available on modern ERP platforms, but they are not the end of the equation. While companies may be tempted to select the provider with the most extensive list of functionalities, they may overlook other factors such as reliability, the level of support or customisation that’s available and the provider’s track record.
Instead, think carefully about what features will be essential; what will be nice-to-have extras and what won’t be relevant, then prioritise accordingly. This will ensure you don’t end up paying for functionality you don’t need, or go with a partner that’s not appropriate for your business needs.
Don’t take the plunge all at once
Implementing ERP systems is a long and complex process, so it can be tempting to try and speed things along by making a major migration all at once. However, this approach is risky, as it is impossible to correctly identify all the requirements up front, train users and then expect to go live on a single date without disruption.
A more agile approach will see the rollout conducted in several smaller steps that enable different departments to test out what works, spot any potential issues or gaps in requirements and make adjustments before they are pushed out to the entire business.
So if you’re looking to obtain or upgrade your ERP solution, get in touch with one of the team at K3 and we can help you figure out the best solution for your business: