What to Know Before Buying an ERP

A relatively common question in the IT space is, “how do I choose a new ERP for my business?”. There is not one answer. The problem is that there are many ERP options out there and there are many different businesses out there.

How can your special business find a special software made especially for your business? We’ve put together a list of what to know before purchasing an ERP for your business.

 

What Problem Are You Trying to Solve?

  • If your problem is that your business needs more complex accounting, as a financial system, ERP is the best choice.
  • If your problem is incorrect or missing production data than an MRP, and depending on the ERP, would be best to start with. MRPs can help with order entry, inventory tracking, scheduling, shipping and more.
  • If sales are your business’ problem, look for a good CRM. CRM is a sales system that does more than just track customer name and email. It can keep order history, conversations, personal detail, status of orders and sales leads.

What Do the Acronyms Mean?

  • ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning
  • MRP: Material Requirements Planning or Manufacturing Resource Planning
  • CRM: Customer Relationship Management

What To Know Before Buying:

  • The process of choosing an ERP system might take a year or so.
  • Don’t shortcut the choosing process – many companies realize the new system doesn’t work for their business after the implementation has already started, which results in loss of money and time.
  • One system may not solve all your problems. Some ERPs can help with sales or production tracking, but it may not be at the level your business needs or work with your specific business. Sometimes sales and production modules are added later to an ERP as an afterthought.
  • Include all key players at your business in the decisions to ensure everyone’s needs are met.
  • Create lists of what is needed for each key player and check needs off as you get closer to making a choice.
  • If your business outsources accounting, don’t necessarily take their advice on the ERP they suggest. Likely the accounting firm is a reseller of a specific ERP product so they will push for that one, even if it’s not the best fit for your business.
  • Google is your friend! Research what ERPs and other systems are out there. Part of the process is discovering what systems are out there.
  • Once you’ve narrowed it down, make sure to ask the system manufacturers questions and always do a demo with them.
  • Don’t forget to ask about the implementation process, integration possibilities, total cost of ownership, licensing terms, training, and everything that your key players need.
  • Implementation will take time; it will likely take a year depending on your business and the system.
  • Implementation will take dedication and time from one or more team members.

Choosing an enterprise software is a major decision that will impact your entire business. Accept that it’s going to be a lot of work and insist on being sure, but at some point, you must jump!

Need more help choosing the right ERP system? Click to contact our team of experts!