The Top 5 Criteria To Consider When Choosing An ERP
Five key criteria you’d be wise to consider before deciding upon an ERP system

ERP selection can be complicated. The ERP system you choose will be the platform through which the various functional areas of your company cohere into one unified whole. It’s the umbrella that covers and connects all your business areas and systems, enabling you to share data and make better, data-driven decisions across your entire operations. Selecting and implementing an ERP software solution helps you work smarter, improving efficiency and visibility across your business processes, which includes everything from purchasing, manufacturing, inventory control, sales, marketing, distribution and customer relationship management.

It can be difficult to choose an ERP system. It is important to take your time and not make a hasty decision while choosing the best ERP system for your needs. You should allocate significant organizational resources to selecting and implementing the ideal system for your needs.

1- Scalability and flexibility

Your current list of requirements and needs should not be the only thing that guides a purchasing decision. You must also consider what features you'll need as your industry grows or experiences change going forward into the future. An ERP system must be flexible enough to scale with your needs as your business grows. A “bad” ERP system is one that you’ll outgrow in 5 to 10 years. You need to have that flexibility already baked into your ERP system. Otherwise, your “inflexible” ERP system may actually hinder your growth, rather than support it -- perhaps the worst-case scenario of all.

What this means is that you must look beyond the standard features a system offers and consider how easily it will be for your ERP system to adapt to changing business needs and embracing emerging technologies. If there are excessive limitations on how much a particular ERP system can be customized, it may be worth looking elsewhere. You don’t want to “bolt on” new technologies and be forced to do complex workarounds because of an inflexible ERP system. What you want an ERP system to be is a platform for growth, meaning it’s flexible enough to support your growth and integrate emerging technologies. What you’re doing by seeking ERP agility is future-proofing your business, and that matters a lot.

2- References or testimonies from customers

An ERP software vendor should be able to give you the references of a few customers to whom you can reach out. It's important to note that you can't just focus on the software itself, but should be carefully considering the collaborative experience the vendor's implementation team brings and its overall technical/business acumen in partnering with companies like yours. In many cases where an ERP system fails to live up to expectations, it's not necessarily because the software was deficient, but rather, something went wrong during the implementation process, such as inadequate communication.

Listening matters, so does responsiveness and building strong relationships (in addition to strong software solutions). Change isn’t simply about technology, but about processes and people too. The people stuff isn’t “soft,” and you’d better be sure you can trust and build a strong collaborative relationship between your people and the ERP vendor’s people.

3- Support and assistance

It’s an essential criterion on your ERP selection checklist, but also for a good ERP reseller, to think about the future. No matter what projects, goals, or unpredictable pitfalls you will have, you will need support to brave those challenges with well-planned solutions and an expert by your side.

Make sure to have good support available during your work hours and a good relationship with your ERP reseller because they will be present as long as your ERP is in your company.

4- Ease of use and contextualization

Each functional area of the business will work daily with certain kinds of data while having no use for other kinds. The user experience should be customizable for each user so that only the most relevant information is presented. This includes contextualization for international companies that will need region-specific data and units of measurement for all locales. Essentially, a good ERP system will be able to present the right information to the right people at the right time in a simple, accessible way. You should look for a great, customizable UX, or user experience.

5- Integration

With an ERP, various systems may be connected and data can be exported or imported from one system to another.

With data integration, information is shared seamlessly between systems. Staff can access ERP data in your system and vice-versa. Mistakes are eliminated, everyone in your business has the data they need to perform at their best and you get the best possible value out of the systems you already have. 

Ready to talk about your own ERP selection? Contact Plennix Today.

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