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How to choose an ERP system

which is the best erp software

‘How to choose an ERP system’ question should be answered taking into consideration the following details: business impact, requirements, budget, implementation etc. That is why the procedure of choosing an ERP System should be made carefully. An ERP system running your business is analogous to our central nervous system. It is complex, very important to have working effectively and efficiently and should be with you for a long time. Replacing it can be painful and costly. Living with ineffective systems can introduce chaos to your business on just about every level. You need to make the right choice, by doing it once and doing it right. The bottom line is to make sure that your choice keeps your technology options open, uses a long term horizon and ensures that you are set up for success moving forward.

We hope the following tools will explain you how to choose an ERP system. Please contact us if you would like some help in this ‘early definition’ stage. We would like to win your business but in advance of that we are happy to provide comments on what we believe to be best practice and give you some real world examples to consider.

ERP selection criteria checklist

The ERP Readiness Check-list is designed to help companies shape an ERP selection process. A disciplined approach on this phase of the project will reap major rewards further down the line. The Check-list looks at several phases, the desired future, current systems, current issues and requirements.

ERP Implementation Goals

The implementation goals are broken down into the following 6 areas:

  • Streamline business processes
  • Sales/Revenue growth,
  • Cost Management,
  • Improved Efficiency,
  • Enhanced system flexibility
  • Happy People and the specifics are in the form of questions.

Some goals are related to recurring activities/processes, some are single occurrence examples.

Learn more on how to choose an ERP system reading about ERP selection criteria below.

How to choose an ERP system

ERP selection criteria

  • Business Impact

    This is a planning document which defines the desired impact that an ERP system will have on your business. Make sure it defines the benefits to your business over a multi-year horizon.

  • Requirements

    This is a document that maps out the current business processes by department. Make sure that you gather input and feedback from all parts of the business and formulate a new document which maps the current system to the new system functionalities.

  • Budget

    Determine the budget for the project, future developments, support and maintenance over a multi-year horizon. Within your budget consider the option of engaging a consultant to run the selection process with you.

  • Decisions

    Determine the decision makers for the project. This could be a single person like the Owner or CEO or the sign off could require Board approval.

  • Leader

    Determine who will lead the project internally. To ensure the project stays on time and on budget a main interface with the vendor is invaluable. This person is also able to coach and manage the change management plan for the business.

  • Change

    Outline a change management plan. Consider the impact training will have, expected staff turnover for 5 years, populations per department, transaction volume and anything else you think that may impact the project.

  • Implementation

    Determine how your business will perform the work required during the implementation phase, whilst still performing the daily responsibilities. This is often an area that is left unconsidered. For example when your data is migrated from existing systems to the ERP system it needs to be cross checked by your team.

Let us navigate to ERP selection questions below to learn more on how to choose an ERP system.

ERP selection process

7 tips to make the right decision

To help you on your ERP journey, we have prepared a short guide on how to choose an ERP system based on what we feel are the most important steps required to implement the best ERP solution for your business:

    1. Should I commission an ERP consultant – From our experience as an ERP vendor, unless you know a lot about ERP systems, using a third-party consultant can be money well spent. They will guide you around many of the pit falls and make sure that you are not being ‘ripped off’ by sanity checking the ERP vendor proposals. They will also chair your vendor meetings, make sure you get answers to the right questions and generally steer you in the right direction. Our only caveat is that you make sure that your consultant is truly independent, since many go under the guise of being fully independent, but are not. The best ERP implementation for your business requires a level playing field for all ERP vendors.

    2. Do your homework – By this we mean research the potential ERP vendors which you are considering. Ask yourself questions like; Have they ever failed in delivering an implementation? Am I buying a ‘Brand name’ just because they ‘sound good’ it does not necessarily mean they “are good”? Can I visit one of their existing clients to see how they a getting on? There are many more questions you can ask within this area, but I’m sure that you get the idea.
    3. Analyse your own business needs – Involve your whole company in this process and ask them to prioritise the required functionalities according to their importance and frequency of use. You may want to make a list with the following criteria: ‘must-have’ functionalities; features that need to be implemented immediately versus features that you want in the future, but do not have to be implemented immediately. Be mindful that a new system is much better received if it is delivered in manageable stages.erp selection
    4. Clarify overall cost of the implementation – Make sure that you know exactly what you are paying and for what. The price should include Software (all qualified software modules for the implementation), Services (implementation services such as configuration, customisation and training) along with a projection of monthly ongoing costs (licensing and support etc.). An initial proposal from Enapps is usually plus or minus 10% when compared to our final proposal. This price only increases when new functionality which we initially did not know about is added at a later stage of the project and we stick to the price. This point is crucial in preventing ‘bottomless pit’ project costs.
    5. Prepare for ERP implementation – Identify someone within your organisation who will be the ‘go to’ person for the ERP implementation; ensure that they are allocated the time to deliver the required ERP support for both internal and external contacts. This will create a much smother environment for project delivery. If you cannot identify an internal person, then consider getting an external contractor to manage the project until it goes live.
    6. Support and Developments – Make sure you know how ongoing support is going to be provided, what it covers, costs and if it is delivered by your ERP vendor. Is it covered as part of your monthly costs? Since customers’ requirements can change along with the business, a company may need slight changes or even completely new functionalities and features to be implemented after the ‘Go Live’. Enapps cover all hosting, maintenance and bug fixing as part of the monthly costs and custom ERP changes are charged at a similar daily rate to the implementation (support hours) or are covered in one of our monthly support packages.
    7. Reporting – At Enapps we tend to ‘copy’ your existing reports as a starting point. However, when you become more familiar with the new functionality, you will likely require some new reports. You may also not have the need for so many printed reports, since on-screen reporting is so flexible, quick and easy to deliver. If required, we supply the training for you to create and modify your own reports, or we can do it for you at our support hours rates or as part of one of our monthly support packages.

We hope that these tips help you on your ‘ERP journey’ and completely answered your question on how to choose an ERP system. As you can imagine, Enapps meets all of the requirements outlined within the ‘7-tips’ and would be delighted to be your ERP vendor of choice.