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3 Key Steps for Selecting an ERP System for Your Business

The need for improved productivity and efficiency is now more important than ever. Recently McKinsey published an article on how businesses need to reinvent their organizations post-pandemic.

business information tracking

One method that is proving popular and effective, is to install an ERP system. Enterprise resource planning systems can help to improve businesses by automating many of their processes and integrating the different areas into one central database.

However, as with any major change to a company’s processes, choosing the wrong type of ERP system may not bring about the desired effects.

Why are ERPs important in today’s business world, and what should you be looking for when choosing one for your company? 

Why are ERP systems important today?

The pandemic saw the demise of thousands of businesses across all types of industry. While many of these closures may have been unavoidable, many others were not.

The pandemic showed the necessity for businesses to streamline their processes, cut costs, and work more efficiently.

There are many things to consider when starting up a new company, and having the right systems in place from day one is vital. However, this doesn’t mean it is ever too late to update and change the work you operate.

ERP systems will help management oversee all aspects of the business, and through real-time reporting and data analysis, improve production and save money. One of the ideas behind an ERP is to help businesses expand but without the need for recruitment or burdening existing departments. 

What are the key steps to choosing an ERP for your business?

There are many different ERP systems on the market, and choosing the wrong one will not bring about all the benefits that you are hoping for. 

Firstly, list out all your requirements

You should begin by working out what you are hoping to achieve by installing an ERP. Not all ERPs are the same, and you need to find the one that will serve the functions you require. 

Secondly, evaluate the different systems

Approaching different suppliers of ERPs means that you can have a select group bidding for your business. You can then evaluate all the systems to see which is the best fit, and at the right price. 

Lastly, select and implement the system

Once you are happy that you have the correct ERP for your business, it will be time to install it. Before you select your ERP however, there are some areas to think about. 

Areas to be considered when selecting an ERP

To maximize the potential benefits of your new ERP system, you should be aware of certain functions and important areas.

When considering any enterprise resource planning system, it is essential that you speak to an ERP consultant. They can help to take you in the right direction for your company.

Other areas to consider are these:

  • What training is available?
  • Is the ERP mobile compatible?
  • How much will it cost?
  • How will it help improve productivity?
  • Is it scalable and flexible?
  • Is it on-premises or cloud-based, or both? 

What training is available?

One important area to consider is how easy the system is to use, and is there training available for your staff. Implementing a new system can mean a big change to staff working practices, and training will be necessary.

Many consultancies and suppliers can help with NetSuite ERP training for instance, which will help the implementation run far more smoothly.

Also, is the system mobile compatible? With many people working remotely or being on the road, access for mobile users is important too. 

How much will the ERP system cost?

Considerations need to be made over the long-term cost of an ERP. A new system can be expensive to purchase outright, but there are options to pay on a subscription basis. 

Will the ERP help to increase productivity?

Data-driven environments are a hot topic today, and this can help improve efficiency. There are several steps you can take to make a more data-driven environment, and a good ERP system is one of them.

Though choosing poorly could hamper your future expansion plans. 

Where will the system be installed?

On-site servers can be costly and require maintenance. For this reason, many businesses prefer their ERP to be cloud-based. One area to consider is security and your network.

These days there are many security implications of IoT devices, and with so many devices connecting to business systems, you need to make sure they are safe.

An on-site server may be more secure than a cloud-based one, but it may also be more costly. However, a hybrid or cloud-based system will allow users to access it regardless of where they are. You may have to balance up security, costs, and functionality to device how to install your system. 

Summary

The key steps to choosing a successful ERP are to first decide on what functions you require. Then ask vendors to bid for your business by demonstrating their systems.

Then, following evaluation and consulting an ERP expert, you should then be able to select a system that will help your business move forward and be more productive.

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