Deploying ERP software is a significant step for any organization. Not only does it require monetary resources, but it also needs a dedicated team to sort out its implementation. A sound plan and long-term goal setting are necessary to guarantee that it does not fail.
One of the most critical steps in ERP software deployment and implementation is selecting the right provider. Since there are too many options available, choosing a package can be overwhelming. It is a common mistake to assume that every ERP software is the same. The purpose of deploying the software is to transform key processes within the business; hence, the decision should not be made without proper research and planning. So, what are the steps you need to take to ensure that you choose the best ERP software suited for your company?
Conducting a review and analysis of key processes
As a business initiative, you need to begin by defining current processes and analyzing strengths and weaknesses. Your review should also focus on what your company envisions these processes should be like as your business expands. By outlining your analysis, software vendors can better demonstrate how their products are better able to address the needs and goals of your company.
Another significant assessment should focus on existing technology and infrastructure. How will the new ERP software fit? Will its deployment require substantial changes? Are there software options that can maximize current technology without needing an expensive overhaul? These things matter, especially if you want to stick to a specific budget.
A realistic expectation of total cost
Beware of providers that seem to downplay real costs and risks associated with ERP implementation. It is best to know how much your company needs to invest so that you are better prepared. During the sales process, make sure to dig deep to learn about possible hidden expenses that may arise after deployment.
Develop a sound implementation plan
Any estimates given by a provider regarding the duration of implementing ERP software should not be given full weight. In reality, you need to develop your comprehensive plan to augment the activities proposed by the vendor. The plan should take into account the unique needs of your company because the vendor will not have the same insider information you do.
Be open to other options
Since many vendors compete to provide the best ERP solutions, you can afford to keep your options open. Choosing a provider should not be limited to popularity. You need to consider all factors as well as whether the solution is the right fit for your enterprise.
Seek independent feedback and advice
If you belong to a network of other business owners within the same industry, you can ask for advice and recommendations from trusted colleagues. If needed, you can always look for an ERP consultant to help with the process. It is likely that with little to no experience with ERP, you will not get all the information you need at once. Enlisting the help of experts in the process of selecting a vendor will help address some of your uncertainties and boost your confidence in making the right decision.