How to Compare ERP Systems and Choose the Right One

Many companies rely on enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to manage various business functions. This integrated suite of applications handles tasks related to sales, manufacturing, and human resources. Finding the right ERP can be a challenge because of the number of programs available today. 

ERP systems may be designed for a specific company size or a certain industry. Other systems are designed to accommodate any organization, regardless of its size. In addition, some vendors offer multiple products to allow each organization to find the right solution for its needs.

Any company considering investing in an ERP should look for a program that will increase its operational efficiency while providing access to reliable data through the automation of business processes. What should a person look for when they want to compare ERPs?

Complete a Business Analysis

Before investing in an ERP, a business should understand its business processes and the challenges it is experiencing. Determine what these processes would look like under ideal conditions. When comparing solutions, share this information with vendors. They can then demonstrate how their product will overcome these challenges and allow the business to move forward. 

Ownership Cost

ERP software sales reps frequently downplay the costs of owning their products. Ask about hidden costs that the company may be required to pay. This might include costs associated with implementing the software, any upgrades to the hardware, and software maintenance. A company needs to know what the total cost will be. 

Implementing the Software

Before purchasing a program, the business must know what is required to install the program and ensure it functions as intended. The program must undergo testing and actually be used to be effective. By knowing the cost and any resource commitments required for implementation, the company can plan accordingly. 

Business Benefits

Why purchase an ERP system if it won’t provide the desired benefits? The company must track the potential benefits to learn if they are achieved with the implementation of the program. A business makes this investment to see an increase in revenue accompanied by a reduction in costs. At times, it may do so to scale for growth. To get the best return on investment, the company needs to estimate and measure these benefits using established metrics. 

Consider All Options

A business owner might go into the process with an expected outcome in mind. They know of one or two programs and anticipate purchasing those. However, thanks to a growth trend, more organizations are entering this industry. Try several programs to learn about the functionality and strength of each. This ensures the right program is chosen for the specific business. This is not the time to use a one-size-fits-all approach. 

Additional Factors

Companies need to find a program that integrates with the current infrastructure. Speak with colleagues and employees to learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of each program. Turn to a mentor for advice or talk with others in the industry. Some business owners find they benefit from hiring an ERP consultant. Use every resource available when making this purchase for the best results. 

Budget and plan for all activities associated with choosing an ERP. When a person goes into the process with realistic expectations, the decision regarding which system to buy becomes easier. The right ERP system will help the company execute its digital strategy. In addition, it will help keep implementation costs down. This is what every business owner wants when they go to make this purchase. 

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