Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are to companies what the nervous system is to the human body. Throughout the last few decades, companies have started embracing ERP systems as such too, but what happens when the ERP provider you’ve chosen as your company's central nervous system doesn’t live up to the challenge?
Choosing an ERP system is not an easy process - the potential ERP solution can either make or break your business. That’s why it’s crucial to start the selection process on the right foot. If you have done this before, you probably learned your lessons. If you’re a first-time buyer, you should know that there are some specific things you might want to consider before making a decision.
So, without further ado, here are three things that you should strongly consider before choosing an ERP system:
Express your specific needs
The first thing you need to consider when selecting an ERP system is that it should be customizable to your specific business needs. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution - every business is unique, Therefore, the ERP system you’ll be purchasing should have the capabilities to tailor itself around your specific needs and requirements.
Keep in mind that you get what you ask for. This is why it’s essential to be as specific as possible about what exactly your requirements are. If your requirements are too generic, you may be disappointed later in the implementation process and end up with a barely usable solution.
If you don't know what you need or if you're not specific with your request, you'll only end up dissatisfied, seeing that the product doesn't meet your requirements. For example, imagine saying that you want to get lifetime code updates, but failing to mention that you need code updates for everything. Well, if all you're asking is to get lifetime code updates, you might end up getting some generic updates that aren't at all what you expected.
However, there are ERP solutions that can provide lifetime code updates for everything, such as Naologic’s Backoffice Builder. You just have to know and express exactly what you are looking for.
Improve your business processes
If you're looking for a solution to fix poor processes, then an ERP system isn't the right choice for you. Even the greatest ERP solutions will fail if they are implemented around poorly planned procedures and slow business processes. A good ERP system can help you improve productivity as long as you already have a reliable foundational structure in place within your company. Its function is to maintain and enhance existing processes. Therefore, the first thing you should do before thinking about adopting an ERP system is to objectively assess the efficiency and logic of your existing processes and procedures.
Take some time to strategize, plan, and reflect upon your business requirements. That way, you can determine the pain points and opportunities that have the potential to lead to the improvement of your company’s processes.
Ultimately, it’s important to understand that your company’s processes and procedures should drive your ERP system, not vice versa. You can think of the ERP system as a tool that enhances your existing processes.
Look for flexibility
When thinking about adopting an ERP system, looking for a solution that is flexible enough to adapt to your company's needs is paramount. Remember that the purpose of an ERP system is not only to increase productivity but also to ensure scalability, in order to accommodate future growth.
Traditional ERP systems are not as adaptable as the latest solutions. So if you're looking for an ERP that's both stable and flexible, make sure to get a newer system. Speaking of, before you make any decisions, make sure to learn about the ERPs you're potentially looking to acquire and find out exactly how difficult it would be to make additional changes following the initial configuration. And don't forget to ask whether you would be charged extra for those changes or not. That’s where most of the ERP providers make the majority of their revenue.. By trapping companies with large change-quotes post-implementation.
In the end, if you pick the right ERP system for your business, you will be able to successfully manage multiple activities and processes, including finances, sales, operations, and many more, all in one place. However, keep in mind that the selection process will most likely require a vast amount of research and testing.
Leaving you with a final question to ponder:
Did you know that it’s possible to design an ERP app with the click of a mouse employing reusable components and launching systems specific to your needs in minutes (as opposed to years)?
It may sound difficult to imagine, but it’s actually a very doable process. Check out Naologic’s Backoffice Builder, and find out how easy to use these custom systems can be.