It is not an easy task when choosing a new ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution. There are numerous elements to consider, and a lot is at stake—for both the company's prospects for success and the people managing the selection process. It is critical that the selection process demonstrates due diligence. But how do you tell if you've done your due diligence? What are some of the steps you may take to guarantee you receive the results you want from the selection process?
Here are 7 essential elements to help you enhance your software selection process and ensure that your organisation has the best solution for your business needs.
1. Determine System Requirements
First, you must establish what your company requires based on its current and projected future status. The primary difficulty facing manufacturers today, according to Aberdeen Group research, is managing growth expectations. As a result, it's worthwhile to inquire: where is your company headed and what are its expansion plans? As your industry evolves and adapts, your solutions must be able to support your goals. What procedures, personnel resources, and technology will the system require to support? A collaborative approach, via a cross-sectional vision for the organisation, is typically beneficial to this process. Not only do these requirements and methods provide a mechanism to formally evaluate solutions, but they may also be used to create future training scenarios.
2. Ensure The Support Of Senior Management
Without continual buy-in from senior executives, software that has been chosen may face hurdles and scepticism. While much of the solution will be implemented at the lower levels of the organisation, the ultimate evaluators of success are generally top management. Involving higher management in the decision process can assist ensure that the solution chosen is maintained. Executives may not need to know every element of the solution, but knowing a few key points will help them make better decisions.
3. Establish A Project Roadmap
A clear roadmap can help stakeholders understand when the rollout is expected, the costs involved, and when benefits and ROI can be expected. This smoothing of the transition will entail anticipating and documenting several key variables, such as the transition steps and the processes and functional roles that will be impacted by the anticipated changes.
4. Consider The Total Cost Of Ownership (TCO)
There are extra costs to consider in addition to the initial outlay before getting a clear picture of the cost. Future updates, hardware needs, and implementation expenses, as well as training and consulting fees, are all factors to consider if you intend to hire outside help. These considerations can go a long way toward demonstrating your diligence and thorough understanding of the problem at hand.
5. Consider Peer References
Your peers, whether through industry associations or your professional network, can be a valuable source of advice and insight. They typically have first-hand knowledge of the difficulties and lessons learnt, which can save you time.
6. Establish The Relationship With The Vendors
A good relationship that is built as soon as feasible can be beneficial both during the evaluation stage and as the relationship grows. A good account representative may often make a major difference in terms of excellent service and a focus on customer value.
7. Evaluated Deployment Flexibility
The system you choose must adapt to the way your company does business, and deployment options can be a key criterion for ERP vendor selection. Cloud deployments, for example, are maturing and becoming more popular, and you may want to know what your alternatives are today and in the future. Vendors who offer more options, such as hybrid deployments in the cloud and on-premises, can help your company's operations change and adapt to the way you do business.
Each organization's selection process is as unique as the organisations themselves. While there is no fool proof method for choosing the best ERP software for your company, we hope that by following a few key guidelines, the best solution will be identified and implemented successfully.
To know more about selecting the right ERP for your business, contact us to request a consulting section.