As we enter another year, businesses begin to think about implementing a new or updating their businesses Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution to enhance and streamline operations and processes. If you find your company’s current ERP system isn’t up to date with all the new technology innovations, like mobile capabilities, it may be time to move to an ERP system better designed to meet the challenges of manufacturing in the 21st century.
When evaluating your current ERP system, the primary focus should be whether or not it has features and/or functions that adequately support the businesses. Another focus should be how well your ERP solution can integrate with external systems, applications, customers and suppliers to help manage the extended enterprise. Are there multiple point solutions like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Supply Chain Management (SCM) that you added on afterwards and aren’t fully integrated into your ERP? This is important to consider while you’re in the processes of evaluating your current ERP.
Does your current ERP system offer an intuitive look and feel? Can users easily adapt and customize screens? Do they feel comfortable using it without extensive training?
In terms of reporting, how easy is it to generate up to the minute reports that are accessible throughout the enterprise? Is there a need to improve the visibility and transparency of information? When considering current value of the ERP system, Business Intelligence (BI) capabilities are extremely important as well. This include providing real-time visibility into areas such as shop floor activity, inventory levels and the state of your equipment.
5 Features to Consider While Selecting a New ERP
Gathering information about ERP solution vendors in order to help the selection process go as smoothly as possible is another best practice you should consider when looking for an ERP system. Below are five steps to use when evaluating ERP vendors.
- Which vendor companies know my industry the best? Will they keep up to date with technology changes or are they static when it comes to innovation?
- Does the vendor’s technology platform and architecture support my company’s IT strategy?
- Many vendors will claim to have the right functional fit for your company’s unique needs, the key here is to identify the vendor solutions that closely align with best practices in your industry.
- Does the vendor offer ERP support? This should include education and training programs along with maintenance and phone support, user groups and partner network.
- Many vendor prices initially appear similar, but there are several factors which can impact the cost, like annual support fees, implementation rates and ongoing support. To make the most informed decision, look to understand the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) over a five year period.
Check out some of the top ERP solution vendors to keep an eye on in 2018 here.
Looking for more? Download our ERP Buyer’s Guide for free to compare the top 24 ERP software vendors head to head! The guide also includes 4 key capabilities to consider while selecting a new ERP solution and 10 questions to ask yourself and the software vendor before purchasing.
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