Date : 09-09-2015 Platform/Online Media: CXOtoday : Your Story Source
Scouting For The Right ERP Solution
Today, there are many ERP options available in the market. Selecting or making the right choice of ERP Solution for your business is one of the crucial business decisions. While many companies feel that any software or ERP will work and their organizations will simply adapt to the functionality of the software.
The right ERP can propel your company forward while the wrong decision may potentially be catastrophic. This article will delineate key steps in the ERP selection process. Thus, the decision shouldn’t be taken lightly or made with incomplete information.
1. Selection of Committee:
This is first and most important step of Selecting the Right ERP System. Members of this committee should be decision makers in the organization representing all relevant departments.
While electing the committee leader, most of the companies makes mistake that they select IT professionals only. ERP solution is the Business decision and not an IT decision. IT plays only support role in this process. Committee Leader must have a deep knowledge and understanding of your business and the Industry, and should have the authority to bring about change.
Members of the committee need to understand the importance of the ERP selection process and make the required time commitment towards this.
Final decision maker, who is going to sign the contract, should be part of committee. Selecting an ERP is a big decision for any company, it’s important to have the final decision maker involved as much as possible in extensive meeting discussions.
2. Conduct a Process Review and Analysed your Business Needs:
While selecting right ERP solution "Business Needs" is playing very important role and not what "You Want". Wants are only important at the very end of the process if you have uncovered several potential products that meet your Business Needs.
Firstly define and document your current business process also highlight the pain/strength point. Also include the processes should look like in the future ("to-be" state) and the corresponding business requirements. These processes and requirements should eventually help while software demonstration.
Many company neglects to involve end-users' requirement and eventually lead to the failure of the project. End-user must be involved in the project at the beginning of the project until the end.
3. Evaluate the Technical Fit.
It is very important to understand how a potential ERP solution will align with your current infrastructure. Also, consider the availability of support technical resources in the organisation.
4. Local or Cloud
One more important consideration is whether to install locally or go with a cloud-based system. Both have its own advantages, a local installation will generally have a higher upfront const, but lower ongoing maintenance fees. On the other hand, a cloud-based install, has much lower upfront costs, but higher maintenance fees. It is important to select the right option as per the business requirement.
Many companies are in niche industries not easily served by off-the-shelf software. You need an ERP system that is designed from the ground up to allow in-house customization and configuration to serve you a better result. Some ERP systems, such as Dynamics NAV, are specifically designed to allow easy extensibility and customization.
If your business relies on specific software, such as Microsoft Office/Outlook or any other software, picking an ERP system that integrates with your existing software can save you both time and money.
You need to be evaluating the reporting needs depending on business processes to decide the potential ERP solution.
Below are the important factors to consider when choosing the right system.
- Which trends are going to monitor over next five years?
- What kind of information, do you need to retrieve?
- What type of analytics do you need to access?
8. User Training
ERP systems involve big change for people, and the system will not do you anything good if people do not understand how to use it effectively. Therefore, spending time on money on training, change business processes (if required), etc. is crucial to any ERP project. Without adequate training to end user, it is very risky to rollout the new ERP system.