How To Evaluate ERP Software For Your Business
There are plenty of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tools available in the market which promise to fulfill all your needs & requirements as per your business requirements. However, evaluating and selecting the right ERP tool for your unique situation is one not so easy, yet is one of the key aspects of successful ERP implementation. One way to avoid choosing the wrong ERP tool is to choose a “platform” which can be customized and not a “product” that is already defined “out-of-the-box”. This allows your company to grow and change alongside the ERP tool rather than remain locked into a predefined system.
We certainly have seen many ERP system failures due to incorrect ERP tool selection. Any ERP failure has a significant impact on your investment and time; and the larger the initial investment, the larger the impact if it fails. A few important factors to consider while choosing the correct platform are:
- the total cost of ownership (TCO)
- Impact on ROI
- Agility and scalability
- Speed of implementation
- Robustness, and
Once you’ve identified a few potential ERP platforms, the next step is to do an in-depth evaluation of each to assess their ability to achieve your goals. This step serves as a critical foundation upon which your eventual success is dependent. This next step is the second opportunity to become a victim in failed ERP pitfalls. Below are the tips one should remember while analyzing ERP software:
- Define Goals
We have seen many clients who avoid defining proper goals before implementing ERP solutions and is, therefore, another major reason behind failures. Define your goals properly – The first question we ask our clients is “Do you need an ERP solution?” or “Why do you want to implement ERP software?”, and “What you would like to achieve after implementation?”.
It’s not sufficient to adopt an ERP system just because the competition may have done so, business should also understand the problems the competition was facing before implementing ERP software.
- Determine Benefits
An organization typically opts for ERP solutions to efficiently manage their processes and track activities with one convenient platform. Another benefit of ERP use is increased agility in terms of change management. Greater control on change management translates into the conservation of resources and better deliveries helping you to grow your business through customer satisfaction. A look at how each ERP platform addresses change management can improve the success rate upon completion of implementation.
We have seen employees who complain about the ERP software after the implementation stating “Excel files were better recently compare to the Enterprise Resource Planning software” Therefore our next point is
- Involve End-Users
ERP implementations are not successful until end-users start using it. This is one of the real key points which we provide to each client. ERP success is not a merchant or Project manager job -It truly is successful when end users take part in defining the perfect process.
- Business Requirement Doc
Business Requirement Documents (BRD) or Functional Requirements Docs (FRD) can reduce the price tag of ERP implementation by clearly documenting workflow and communication channels. Involve an experienced team for BRD creation who can map all areas of your business with workflows, forms, hierarchy and departmental exchange of information.
“BRD or FRD is a helpful document that allows a vendor to provide customization, cost and duration bound timelines estimates and can be used for almost any ERP software selection”.
- Detailed Requirements
Business owners or employees who are engaged during the planning level should set up practical expectations with the supplier. It is vital to check technological aspects of ERP solution rather than only focusing on functional areas. Training, Future Improvements, Support, Integration & Modification points cannot be overlooked during evaluating correct software.
Overall, effective ERP implementation can be an exciting road to significant operational benefit. The difference lies in properly planning and detailing on both sides vendor and customer, what the expectations are and determining each step of the business model. Then, designing an effective ERP platform to address the customer’s’ end goals. Taking the time on the front end to detail these points will surely lead to a great experience for everyone involved.
Are you considering an ERP investment for your business ? Let us know what you’re thinking about in the comments.Also, If you have any query for ERP Software please drop an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.