5 Things to Consider Before Purchasing ERP Software - Avoid Buyer's Remorse

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Any business decision you make should follow careful forethought and assessment of current conditions, and purchasing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is no exception.  Moreover, ERP software is so critical to business management and so lasting in terms of its effects and the amount of data and resources your business will invest in it that you cannot afford to make a weak decision.

Once you have made the investment in ERP software and spent manpower and money pouring data into it, you would have a hard time convincing anyone that it might have been a better idea to choose different software and that your business should start all over again.  Although future migration is a possibility and reality for some businesses, any ERP software you choose will be your baby for the long-term future.

Having said that, there are a few issues you should consider before making a purchase.  Carefully considering each of these points beforehand will help you avoid the unfortunate circumstance of realizing, years down the road, that you made the wrong decision.

1) Executive support - Whoever is in charge needs to be on board for any ERP implementation.  If you are going to have to convince each department to use new software and possibly even think in an entirely new way, it will certainly help if the top executives support the decision.  In fact, in some cases, making such moves without leadership support could be impossible.

2) Management support - Each department also has leadership, and someone beyond the IT department needs to be responsible for making sure ERP adoption and deployment goes well.  When it comes to implementing new technology, hand-holding will lead to disaster.

3) Project manager - Someone needs to be in charge of finding the right ERP solution and implementing it.  That person needs to have the time and resources to actually make it happen.  That may mean offloading some of his or her current responsibilities onto someone else or even hiring temporary help.

4) Identify Business Goals - Perhaps you have already asked yourself this question, but unfortunately too many businesses are not clear on this issue.  What is ERP supposed to solve for your business?  Concluding that you need an ERP solution simply because you are a business fails to answer that critical question, and it will ultimately mean that you end up with software that does not meet your needs.  In order to truly know how to solve a problem, you need to know what the problem is.

5) Evaluation - Evaluation and assessment are words that business employees and even management often loathe.  It inevitably means a ton of paperwork and digging into dark corners of the business.  But evaluation is necessary, and you cannot determine the success of your ERP implementation without some method for evaluating its value and progress.

There are many other issues that you should consider, but these are the primary ones that will affect your business as a whole.  Too often software implementation is dumped on IT with little regard for actual business needs.  With ERP purchasing being so critical to your business, you cannot afford that mistake.

By ERP Software Blog Editors, Find an Expert Microsoft Dynamics ERP Expert

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