Most Effective Guidelines for Selecting your Right ERP
Enterprise Resource Planning is ace business management software that integrates a suite of various applications. No matter how big is the volume, it can collect, store, operate, manage, and track data using ERP. Yet, how much benefits you can reap from any ERP depends upon right kind of selection.
Getting ERP software is a huge investment. Therefore, this calls for a thoughtful checklist that can help you to select the right product. Thus, check-listing will simplify your planning and decision-making.
Ten Best Factors to Consider While Buying ERP
Right from identifying your software needs to comparative analysis, this checklist is the best to consider. But if you are planning to implement ERP for your business, use this list for right selection.
Hence, we give here an all-inclusive checklist that covers the whole ERP selection process for you in a nutshell.
1. Identify the software needs of your business.
Map out the needs and bottlenecks of your business where the ERP system will work. This will justify how and where your business needs software. Hence, ask yourself what you expect ERP to do for your business.
2. Shortlisting and Communicating Vendors
Find out the best 5-7 or more vendors in ERP market best for software selection. Get idea of the systems that will work for you. Also, get an idea of the cost and product from every vendor.
Communicate with the vendors and display your business requirements. This will help you get a list of different options. Get an idea from the vendors how these options will work for your business requirements.
3. Evaluation and Filtration of Options
This is perhaps the most crucial in the checklist for the selection of the suitable ERP. Learn features, functions, and performances of the given options. Learn more about the ERP systems from the vendors and experts. Get demonstrations and workflow of every option. Yet another factor in this step is to know the flexibility of the system for customization as per your needs.
4. Prioritize the Options
Once you learn the various ERPs suggested by your vendors, it is simple to prioritize them. Therefore, number them on the basis of following criteria. After that, you may also add other criteria as per your unique need.
- Functions and features
- Trendiness or up-to-the-modern trends
- Real-time communication and tools
- User-friendliness / operational issues
- Flexibility / potentialities for customization
- Vendor support
- Maintenance cost
The higher the rank in all different criteria, the higher the overall score of the ERP. This will help you to make out which ERP scores higher on average.
5. Negotiations and Feedback
Once you complete giving ranks and scores to the options, it is time for negotiations. You can filter the most suitable options that earn the top scores. Simply eliminate the options which are not suitable. Contact the vendors for detailed knowledge of the systems. Verify the given details are confirming through close communication. Some options might be ranking low in the terms like price, maintenance, and others. Negotiate with the vendors for these criteria and get the best possible prices and terms.
6. Get Final Demo
Discuss with your in-house team and know their opinions as well. Get the final demo in details and be more decisive about the most right option. This step should help you in striking the final decision. After a final brainstorming and reviewing, you are ready to select the right ERP.
Once you are sure about a couple of options that are best for you, verify your product and vendors in details. Get references and reviews from your friends or other business owners. If they are using it, they are the best people to give you reviews. Do not rely on online reviews and ratings that might be misguiding. Know the market for the products you have selected as your best ones. Any good product is sure to have a certain level of popularity in the market.
Besides product, know more about your vendors. How reliable and reputed is your vendor and what kind of support you will expect. Make sure your vendors are ready to extend training support for your staff.
8. Cost Revision
Price is a very important factor when the investment is huge. Hence, do not go blindly for the option that is the cheapest one. Low cost and budget-friendliness are important but not at the cost of quality. If you can access a perfect quality and features by adjusting your budget marginally, it is worth doing. While the ERP should not be completely out of your budget, it should either not compromising on quality. In short, it should be viable and worth. You can get ideas from the market whether the price you will pay is competitive and practical.
9. Get on Final Terms with Vendor
Once you have done all the research, get on the final terms and conditions with the clients. Do not overlook the terms and conditions. Once you are agreed on a draft, get it finalized on the paper. You would rather get them agreed on the paper at the time of buying.
10. Make your Decision to Purchase and on Licenses
Select your right ERP once you are happy with the kind of support vendor is providing you. Make final agreement including terms for training support, installation, implementation, and maintenance. The initial phase of the implementation is crucial. Make sure the product is serving its purpose rightfully.
Make sure you purchase a sufficient number of licenses for the ERP to work for your entire firm. Keep monitoring the renewal and maintenance clauses. Thus, try to get all the estimates in advance from the vendor instead of receiving last minute surprises.