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How to Choose an ERP For Your Business

Enterprise Resource PlanningWhat’s the number one complaint we hear from companies these days… They are unhappy with their existing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.
It’s complicated software. Enterprise Resource Planning integrates customer relationship management (CRM), order management, scheduling, production, inventory, human resources, accounting and much more. ERP combines all of this departmental data into one complete system that streamlines processes and information flow across the organization. Many businesses have nothing but headaches with their existing ERP system. Their system either has too many bells and whistles, it’s too confusing, it’s outdated, it’s not designed for their industry or it doesn’t do what they specifically need it to do.

Choosing the Right ERP…

Over time, companies change and evolve. As a result, the need for a more personalized ERP system becomes apparent. The decision to create a custom solution or purchase an off-the-shelf system can depend on many different factors.

In most situations, purchasing an off the shelf system can reduce risk, be faster to implement and be less expensive, but typically provides a “one size fits all” approach that may not work well for your business processes.

For some companies, creating a custom ERP solution may be a better option. If your market differentiators are what makes you stand out from your competitors, your ERP system NEEDS to incorporate these. Building a custom ERP solution may be the only way to include these differentiators.

7 Best Practices…

Over the years, we’ve gathered a group of best practices when it comes to selecting or building an ERP system…

1. Software on top of broken processes = broken software
2. Conduct process mapping, look at current vs. future state processes
3. Look at build vs. buy vs. best of breed product integration

  • Build custom for market differentiators
  • Buy to save time
  • Integrate for best of breed products

4. Conduct deep dive ERP vendor interviews

  • Don’t be wowed by bells and whistles
  • Ignore the dashboards
  • Ask DEEP questions
  • Don’t believe everything the sales rep tells you

5. Minimum Viable Implementation (MVI)

  • Don’t try to do everything at once
  • Pick an area you will succeed in

6. Assign a leader/form a team
7. Hit the gas and don’t let up

The Bottom Line…

Following a set of best practices, coupled with a firm commitment to see the implementation through, will lead your ERP selection project to success.

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Tom Swip

Tom Swip has been developing and streamlining business processes for over 20 years. Tom's expertise lies in business process automation, software and application design and network infrastructure. In his spare time, Tom likes kayaking, mountain biking and other outdoor activities.

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