How to select the right ERP for your business
Enterprise Resource Planning software is the future of business technology – this amazing solution is the perfect tool that can help any organisation pump up its productivity and operational efficiency. Successful implementation of ERP system can completely transform any business organisation and provide efficiency in routine work tasks.
Today, the market space is flooded with numerous ERP software suites and choosing the right one for your business may often seem like a daunting task. One needs to consider the organisation’s particular requirements and workflow model before deciding on the most appropriate ERP software.
Conducting a careful survey and analysis is vital before investing in a top class ERP system – it will surely bring your business on the fast track to success!
Select the right ERP system through following steps:
1. Plan Precisely
Enterprise resource planning is a long-term process – you need to make sure that your organisation plans well and conducts comprehensive research before deciding on ERP software. Discuss and integrate with all departmental heads to know the exact requirements of the ERP system, and invest in the appropriate functionality for your company.
Look beyond today and prioritise the business requirements that will apply based on the business plan, growth and market/competitive forces. We often say the right system is the one that works for you in year 3+ as you’ll take time to implement the new system and to assimilate any new processes and procedures before you start to grow in to what’s available in the new application suite.
Make sure to choose ERP solution that is well suited to your organisation’s financial budget, and will help you achieve long-term goals with ease. A bit of good planning can definitely go a long way in helping you select the absolute best ERP system suite for your business!
2. The Power of Customisation
ERP systems are highly customisable and can be shaped to meet the specific requirements of any organisation. The ERP product partner, along with your IT team if they have the right skillsets, can assist in the complete personalisation of ERP software to make sure that it fits your organisational workflow, and provisions for scaling up or down the software can be made with ease.
Today’s modern ERP is much more customisable than ever meaning a high degree of flexibility without reverting to complex development/code.
The right customisation of ERP software solution will ensure a perfect technical fit with your current infrastructure – making sure that your company reaps the amazing benefits of a well-customised ERP software package. Delivering a measurable Return on Investment (ROI) should always be the bedrock to any business justification for the new ERP.
Before embarking on customisation consider the vanilla product and the degree by which it can easily adapt as standard to better fit your process; or the extent to which your process can adapt to fit the product.
Too often we see the overall delivery complicated by dogged insistence that the existing procedures cannot change, when in fact they ultimately represent the past and not the future when everything is taken in to account.
3. Budget is key
Finances and budget can be a real deal-breaker while investing in enterprise resource planning for your organisation! Make sure to understand the total cost of ownership before getting Enterprise Resource Planning software for your organisation.
Look for tangible and realistic benefits. Obvious commercial improvements – release of slow moving stock, reduction in stock out’s, increase in sales order throughput, reduction in shipping costs but don’t ignore the intangible such as improved customer service, greater market reach, quicker issues resolution, shared management data etc.
Don’t be afraid to account for the release of data input resources (i.e. people) through automation and their translation from a net cost to a net benefit by applying them into customer facing roles.
When looking at the budget bear in mind all costs and consider the estimated lifespan of the application to achieve the business goals over “n” years to come when recognising realisable value.
With Sage X3, we recommend a minimum 10 year amortisation of the project as once implemented the application will adapt and deliver over that timeframe with ease.
4. Find your perfect partner
Choosing ERP software is a long-term and on-going partnership for your business – it is crucial to get a reliable, credible, and an excellent partner who understands your organisational needs.
Slick and well presented demonstrations are a marker of partner product confidence but not necessarily proof that the partner has listened and understands what you’re trying to achieve. Test their knowledge, stretch their understanding, give them examples of scenarios that build on the details shared thus far.
Remember, ERP applications are “configure to order” so don’t expect to see everything in the demo. Focus on the partner’s issue management skills, project approach and methodology as well as their ability to visualise the project from your point of view.
Remember, this is your journey, not theirs!
We would always recommend a “meet the team” opportunity if possible so that you can assess whether there is full compatibility between businesses from the outset. Don’t expect to meet the whole team if you’re early on in the process. It’s reasonable to find the project sponsor and project manager will be identifiable at the earlier stages of the process.
You’ll be working closely together under pressure potentially for a considerable period of time and building relationships is central to great project delivery and customer/partner interaction.
5. Complete Accessibility and Mobility
Make sure to select accessible and user friendly ERP so that your entire employee population can easily adapt it. Sage’s ERP system can be used on mobiles, tablets, and laptops.
This makes sure that your staff can access critical data on the move, and enhances the level of operational flexibility. Mobile-friendly ERP system can also be accessed across geographical regions, thereby making sure that your team members can be in touch with work tasks even if they are not in office premises!
Enterprise resource planning is a holistic platform that automates business processes into a unified and structured stream. This means that for successful implementation it is necessary that all company software systems should be smoothly integrated, to maintain a central data repository.
That transition into a unified and integrated world is rarely instant however and you should consider phasing in change where external systems are involved, to be able to control and manage project delivery risk.
All too often customers seek a “Big Bang” when in fact good project governance recommends mitigating risk wherever possible which would propose reducing the project scope and introducing phases.
There is no shame in having a phased route to completion. There are however obvious repercussions in having to abandon a cutover because there are too many variables to control.
The decision of selecting ERP software for your organisation can indeed have a lifelong impact and change the course of your business success. So make your story a huge success by getting the best ERP system and the right partner, and help your organisation attain business glory through careful planning and consultation.
For more information about X3 Consulting, an accredited Sage business partner for your next ERP solution, speak to one of our expert consultants today.