8 Steps to Choosing the Right ERP for You

abas, 09/19/2014

There are so many ERP solutions in the marketplace today. How can you ensure you choose the one that’s best for your company? Don’t be overwhelmed, we’ve outlined all the important factors you should consider below.

1. Set goals and objectives

First determine your company’s objectives for an ERP software solution and find out what your management‘s goals are so you can get buy in from the entire organization when choosing the system that’s best for your company. Acceptance of a new system is much better if key users are included in the selection phase. Planning the ERP selection and the installation process is the first step.

A methodical selection process helps you determine if an ERP system supports your internal and external business processes. During the ERP evaluation phase, attention should be paid to the degree the ERP system is able to adjust to the company’s specific requirements.

 

2. Create a list of ideal ERP system functions

One list should consist of your “must have” functions and the other should be your “nice to have” or lower priority functions list.

 

3. Get advice from industry experts

Gain key insights as to what’s going on in the ERP space today so you know what to consider in your evaluation process. Click here to access a list of the top ERP blog, news and research publications. You can also download our whitepaper: “What’s Next in ERP?”

 

4. Speak with customer references

Ask the prospective ERP company if you can speak to current users to get a sense of what it’s like working with that company, their partners, etc. Ask about the quality of their customer service from the installation process to the long-term experience. Ask about their satisfaction levels and first-hand experiences with use case scenarios you envision and have them to describe the results. Ask how user-friendly they find the software to be. Ask about their experience integrating the software into third party solutions and ask about the upgrade process. Research the prospective ERP company’s user testimonials and case studies. Make sure the ERP company you’re considering receives top rankings in ERP market surveys for customer satisfaction. This is something we at abas pride ourselves on. We have a 90% user satisfaction rate and we’re looking forward to capturing enthusiasm from more customers at our upcoming abas 360° User Conference later this month.

 

5. Determine the total cost of ownership and change

You’ll want to take into consideration every factor that influences the overall cost of owning an effective ERP system, which goes beyond the initial cost of licensing fees, services and third-party add-ons. Click here to get our advice on determining your total cost of ownership and change.

 

6. Develop a realistic implementation plan

Here are some questions we recommend asking your prospective ERP vendor company regarding installation:

– Can the system be operated and supported in multiple languages (if applicable)?

– Does the vendor have a track record of successfully national and/or international implemented projects?

– Does he have a best practice installation methodology?

– How is the coordination between multiple vendor offices and/or partners nationally and/or internationally?

 

7. Research customer service and support offerings

The company providing the ERP system you choose should have ample experience in your industry, know the requirements for companies your size and be able to provide you with professional assistance starting at the installation phase all the way through your long-term relationship. The ideal ERP service provider would also have an extensive partner network to tap into for expertise and industry experience.

 

8. Evaluate your findings

It’s important to document your findings when evaluating ERP solutions from the company or companies you’re considering. On page 5 of this whitepaper we’ve created score cards you can use to document findings for total cost of ownership, software quality and vendor quality using a simple rating system.

 

In summary, selecting the right ERP solution for you is an extremely important decision. We hope you’ll use the steps above as a checklist for conducting a thorough evaluation which involves: knowing where you are now, where you want to go, qualifying the quality company’s ERP product and ensuring it can be a long-term solution for you.

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