An effective enterprise resource planning (ERP) software system is vital for gaining and keeping an edge in today’s highly competitive business environment. It allows you to garner key data about every facet of your business and deliver actionable, timely information to decisions makers. This way you can develop strategy, initiate tactics, and measure performance at all levels of the organisation.
Installing ERP in your firm is a major investment both in terms of time and money so it’s essential you get it right at the offset. This will ensure you get the best value, fast and trouble-free installation, and most importantly a system that delivers the data you need to satisfy organisational goals.
Here are some strategies to help choose the right ERP system:
Define Your Goals
The clearer your goals for your ERP software, the better the chance of getting the right system. Defining your objectives requires a thorough audit of your organisation and its business processes, keeping in mind any future plans for expansion or diversification.
Depending on your business model, your goals may involve optimising inventory levels to improve cash flow, speeding up delivery dates to enhance customer satisfaction and minimise warehouse costs, or improving your setup for responding to customer queries.
It’s important that representatives from all levels of the organisation are involved in this goal-setting process. These include end users, line managers, IT staff together with senior management. Not only is the input of all stakeholders vital for ensuring the right choice of system, it will also help lead to a prompt installation and smooth operation.
Clarify Your Information Needs
Once you’ve determined your goals, you need to establish the information flows needed to achieve them. Though extremely powerful, your ERP software system is just a tool. Only by defining the appropriate inputs and outputs can you realise its full value.
To this end, you need to determine the key performance indicators (KPI) that drive your business. A manufacturer needs up-to-date information on raw materials and labour costs, for example, while a distributor might focus on data regarding inventory and transport times. Other factors you need to consider could include a strong mobile element to allow your salesmen in the field or supervisors on the factory floor to access the system at all times.
Armed with a comprehensive set of required information needs, your ERP partner is in a good position to recommend a system. They can determine, for example which turnkey features are adequate for your business processes and which custom metrics will have to be designed from the ground up.
Establish Your Budget
Deploying ERP is a major investment. Costs will include hardware, licensing fees for the software, training and maintenance. While you should quickly begin to recap your outlay through increased efficiency, reduced wastage and improved customer satisfaction, you need to set a budget for the initial investment. Clearly defining the goals of your system and setting a strict realistic budget will ensure your ERP vendor will be able to establish the most suitable choice of system for your particular firm.
Choose the Right Partner
Choosing and deploying the right ERP system has the potential to transform your entire operation. But this can only happen with the right partner who can work closely with you from the beginning and throughout the system life cycle.
Much will depend on your choice of a consultant and partner who can deliver the right solution for your special needs. Partnering with WinMan offers you a totally integrated ERP solution that features compatibility, efficacy, scalability and an elegant ease in operation.