- On June 7, 2022
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- Business, Business Intelligence, Business One, Business Software, Business Technology, enterprise resource planning, ERP, Growth, Implementation, increase efficiency, manufacturing software, SAP Business One, SAP Partner, smb, SMB ERP, Softengine, technology
How to Choose an ERP
Like any business decision that will impact employees, operations, and strategy, deciding to move to an ERP solution requires a great amount of research and collaborative deliberation. With a large amount of ERP systems to choose from, it may feel overwhelming and as if there is no good place to begin the search. However, there are ERP solutions that are specifically designed for certain business industries and sizes that will help narrow the search down quite a. bit. Throughout today’s blog, learn how to approach the search and evaluation for the ERP that is the best fit.
- Assemble an ERP Project Team: The first step in every ERP search is to establish a solid project team to drive the process. Once the project team is assembled and the project goal is communicated, the team can organize a business specific plan of action to jumpstart the ERP evaluation journey. Defining a set strategy and having a dedicated team to conduct the initial research into ERP vendors makes all the difference.
- Communicate the ERP Requirements: Once the project team compiles a list of potential vendors, it is imperative to effectively communicate the specific features, functions, and customizability. It is also important to clearly communicate the size of the organization, volume of activity and transactions, how complex the business processes are currently, and any other important factors or features of the business that should be addressed during the initial conversations with vendors. Once the vendors understand the specific processes and functions, they can show how each system can be configured or customized to support the specific needs.
- Narrow the Potential Vendor List for further Correspondence: With over 2100 ERP vendors in 47 countries selling ERP software, it is important to narrow the list down even further than the initial conversation list (2). SAP Insights recommends keeping this narrowed list under a dozen of best candidates and software options. During these follow up conversations, more in-depth explanations of best fitting ERP software can be discussed including industry-specific solutions and features. Ensuring that the ERPs being considered are proper fits and fully equipped to handle the specific business operations and requirements is essential during this step to even further narrow down the potential vendor and software list. Another key step to complete during this phase is to rank the importance of requirements needed from the ERP. Knowing which requirements are essential to gain will help the vendors and the project team to spend the greatest amount of time and effort on evaluating the solutions that offer extensive functionality specific to those areas.
- ERP Evaluations and Rankings: After communicating with the narrowed list of vendors and hearing their proposals about their software offerings, now comes the time to rank and evaluate the ERP options on their own based on what they offer. The rating process can take many forms such as numeric ratings, moving everything to a spreadsheet for greater visibility and organization, and much more. This step is the time to focus in on the proposals provided by the vendors and decide which software options offer the most important features required for the business. Narrow the pool of options down to the top five finalists by the end of the step.
- Final Evaluations: Now that the process is almost complete with five top ERP finalists chosen, it is time to reach out to the respective vendors and ask for demonstrations of the software. These demos can be general overviews of the ERP functions, or also tailored to specific operations that rank most important on the compiled list of requirements. This step is truly just getting to know and see more clearly through demos and conversations how the remaining ERP options operate. The best advice for this phase is to continue asking the vendors questions throughout the demo process to ensure that everyone is on the same page and to clarify any points of confusion. Learning as much as possible before an implementation will be extremely beneficial when the time comes to implement.
- ERP Selection and Vendor Contract: Finally, the last step in the evaluation process! At this stage, there should be at least one or two stand out software and vendors, so choose the one that best aligns with the business specific goals and requirements needed from the ERP and vendor. After the contract is reviewed and discussed in great detail with both the project team and the selected vendor, it is time to move forward with the implementation process! (1)
To learn how an implementation occurs and the process leading up to going live, check out our blog here: https://softengine.com/resources-blog-erp-implementation-steps/
In conclusion, it is important to weigh the many options of powerful ERP solutions on the market and be as specific as possible to what requirements are most important for the business needs. SAP Business One is the leading ERP software for the small to medium size business market, and is packed full of incredible features, functionalities, and customizations to solve industry specific needs.
Here at Softengine, we are a SAP Business One Gold Partner, with a strong ‘Client-First’ mentality. Let us help you take your growing small business to the next level with SAP Business One!
Contact us today for inquiries: [email protected]
For more information about Softengine: https://softengine.com/about-softengine/the-softengine-advantage/
For more information about SAP Business One: https://softengine.com/product/sap-business-one/
Softengine Customer Success Stories: https://softengine.com/clients/