How to Choose the Right ERP Solution

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Successful business leaders today certainly acknowledge the value of having the right ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution. An ERP solution can help organize, automate and transform the way you do business. It can contribute to increased efficiency and subsequent growth.  However, these claims only prove true if you choose and implement the right ERP solution. And how do you do that? What questions should you consider when undertaking the selection process?

How to Choose the Right ERP Solution

Because ERP will be tied to all aspects of your business, many people from various departments, executive boards, and even outside consultants may be required to offer input during the selection process. When you have narrowed your choices, how do you choose the best one for your company?

Western Computer has deployed hundreds of ERP solutions. In working with our customers through the selection and planning process, we have identified a few key questions you should ask before making your decision and proceeding with confidence.

Does the technology provide the functionality required by your business?

Your best business practices and processes should not have to be compromised and adjusted to your software’s capabilities. You will want an ERP solution that can handle all of your business needs. Shortcomings in functions that your teams will need to use every day will almost certainly guarantee dissatisfaction, lack of user adoption and wasted resources. This will leave you worse off than you were before implementing the solution.

Does the ERP system integrate well with your other systems?

Beyond the technology itself, think of the fact that you will want your new ERP to integrate seamlessly with your other systems so you can easily share data across applications. In the long run that will save you both time and resources. If the  ERP can integrate easily, without costly and time-consuming workarounds, you will have a harmonious IT environment and a better chance of success and satisfaction.

Do you have the resources necessary for the implementation?

Of course, you have investigated the financial outlay for a new ERP solution, but that is only the beginning of the resources that will be required for a successful implementation. Users, analysts, process experts and management also contribute to your success. You will depend on your team to assess processes and functional implementation, make hard choices when necessary, and eventually to validate the deployment by adopting it unreservedly. Involving all stakeholders during the implementation and training is key to the success of maintaining the solution after your partner has completed the deployment.

Have you considered total cost of ownership?

Your ERP solutions is designed to contribute to the ongoing success and profitability of your business, but there is no question that it can be an expensive IT investment. Beyond the initial costs of the software and the implementation,  total costs of ownership include on-going maintenance, licensing, training and support. In the years ahead, as your business grows, additional budgeting may be required to upgrade, expand or modify the original solution to support additional users, new offices and changing needs and processes of your business.

Be sure to discuss your long-range goals and prospects with your ERP partner. There are options and depending on where you choose to deploy (on-premises or in the cloud), licensing or subscription choices, and hardware requirements, there can be a vast range in the total cost of ownership.  A reliable and experienced ERP partner can help you see if the solution fits your current budget and can help you forecast costs over the entire lifecycle of ownership.

Is your ERP implementation partner an expert in their field, and do they provide an expert team?

Selecting the right deployment partner can be as important as selecting the right ERP software. Your partner will play a crucial role in the success of your entire ERP project both initially and over the long-term. Make sure your partner has experience and solid references in implementing solutions in your business field. Are they large enough to field a stable, consistent team over the life of your solution? Make sure that you meet the technicians that will be assigned to work on your project and that they communicate and work well with your internal teams.

The resources or consultants you engage to assist in selecting an ERP solution are likely tasked with evaluating specific aspects of the solution. They may focus narrowly on specific business requirements, their own functional areas, or areas of influence, such as budget or technology. Input from all stakeholders should be welcomed during the selection process, but in the end, the final decision maker has to get it right. With hundreds of successful ERP deployments over the past 30 years, Western Computer can help you step back and look at the larger picture so that you can commit to an ERP solution with confidence.

Contact us today and let us show you how the right ERP solution can benefit your business now and in the years to come.

by Western Computer

4 thoughts on “How to Choose the Right ERP Solution”

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