Things to Consider When Choosing an ERP Software
There are so many ERP options that exist today such that selecting a package that works for one’s business can be a hard task. Most people think that any ERP software will be good for their companies and that the business will have to adapt to the system. This is the wrong approach and it has led to many failures in business process due to failed ERP software. ERP is supposed to offer the business competitive advantage thus even the selection of the software should not be taken lightly or made with inadequate data.
The purchase of ERP is a business initiative and thus the buyer needs to conduct a SWOT analysis on the business so that they can use this information in the selection process. This assessment needs to also look into how best the business can operate optimally in the future and what need to be done to get there. These processes and business needs should be the criterion used to evaluate potential software vendors on how they demonstrate the capabilities of their ERP systems in view of the business needs.
Even though ERP should be a business as opposed to being a technology initiative it is still vital to comprehend how the potential software solution will fit in with the current technology infrastructure.
Another important thing to factor in is the cost of ownership. Many vendors have a habit of downplaying other costs that will come about after buying their ERP software. This requires that the buyer do their due diligence on these extra costs before committing to any software since this will save them a lot of time and money now compared to when they have already bought the software. In the research process they are bound to come across other costs like software and hardware maintenance and upgrade costs, bringing the project team up to speed on the software among other hidden costs.
The buyer needs to set their own implementation plan because sellers can give the buyer an unrealistic time frame. There are various factors that need to be included such as issues to do with software installations and other issues like proper functioning, testing and acceptance by users. This plan has be available even before the buyer gets the ERP software so that the buyer has a realistic estimate on the cost of implementation. The implementation plan should include every nook and cranny of the business process and the design of the work flow to other aspects like data migration, multiple test iterations, conference room piloting and other key organizational change management activities. By adhering to the tips above the buyer can make an informed decision on choosing an ERP.