Whether you are updating legacy software, or buying your very first ERP system, choosing the right one for your business is never an easy or fast decision. Unlike buying something common like shoes where you quickly evaluate your choices on a few simple criteria such as fit, style, color and price, selecting and ERP means conducting a great deal research and then weighing the pro and cons of each option.
So, one of the keys to successful ERP research is making sure you stay organized. Acumatica has developed a handy checklist that will help you do just that. It makes it easy to compare your ERP options across these 5 essential categories:
- Productivity: How will it help you get things done faster and easier?
- Intuitive—Easy to learn and use.
- True universal availability—Access to system from any device, anytime, anywhere to facilitate staff working from home, late/weekend shifts, and field personnel.
2. Functionality: What features are included?
- Multi Entity Support—multi-company, multi-warehouse, and international companies, including financial consolidations, intercompany eliminations, and reconciliations.
- Financial Management—Support standard accounting functions, including General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Cash Management, Tax management, and more.
3. Technology: How does it make use of available technology?
- True cloud—All functionality is accessible through the internet using a standard browser without the need for any software installation on the user’s device. No additional software licensing required.
- Responsive design—View and interact with every page of the application on any device with a minimum of resizing, panning, or scrolling.
4. Value: What kind of bang are you getting for your buck?
- Low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Reduce the total cost of ownership over the foreseeable lifetime of the product (at a minimum 3-5 years), including licensing, support, hardware, upgrade, and hosting costs. Be sure to add the cost of additional products required to run the system (web server, eCommerce platform, database server, collaboration tools, CRM, etc.), which includes all required hardware, licensing, and support costs.
- Scale as you grow Ability to accommodate heavier volumes, more resources, and more users as your business grows. Pay only for what you use. Add more resources when you need them.
5. Risk: How will it help you reduce risk and improve security?
- Predictable monthly costs Not vulnerable to spikes in IT costs. Standardizing on a platform allows you to predict your monthly cost for the system.
- Deploy quickly Eliminate time delay and risk of unplanned costs by deploying quickly with a cloud solution.
As the examples I listed above suggest, each category has been prepopulated with a list of benefits and/or features that most organizations would be looking for. For added convenience, Acumatica’s benefits are already listed. All you will need to do to complete the checklist is add the names of other systems you’re considering to the blank columns and then check off the benefits offered by each. There’s also a column that allows you to mark which features are most important to you, so you can easily see what deserves the most emphasis during your decision-making process.
And, if you want to explore some of the most popular ERP solutions on the market today, please
By Laura (Heinbockel) Schomaker, Intelligent Technologies, Inc., a NC Acumatica and Microsoft partner