There are many things to consider when deciding on manufacturing software. To help ensure you choose the right software for your business and to make the process as simple as possible for you, we have put together a quick list of the most important considerations.
Focus on an ERP solution targeted to your company requirements
When you're initially considering ERP candidates the first thing you should do is rule out anything that's not designed for the structure of your business or do not help you combat your main challenges. Start the process by asking yourself questions like, what are the main challenges? What type of manufacturing processes do you use? Do you want a system to handle single site or multiple sites? What are your growth plans? The answers will help you set your ERP goals, the clearer they are the more focus your search will be.
Also, Manufacturing ERP software advancements have removed the need for multiple systems so, take stock of the systems you currently use, note the processes or activities you use them for and use this as a checklist when you are searching for the most suitable system.
Consider your market
Mid-market solutions are generally more sophisticated in terms of capabilities than systems designed for small businesses, while the most complex are enterprise-level packages. It is vital that you select a manufacturing solution that can support your business most important functions, such as production planning, inventory management and accounting.
Take some time to get to know each of the vendor's in your shortlist. Find out everything you can about them. Look for testimonials, check out their content, request a demo or even meet the team - is it helpful, informative, up-to-date, and client-focused? Don't rely only on the data provided by the vendor, find both qualitative and quantitative data to compare and get a good picture of who they are and how they operate as a business.
The costs involved in a new manufacturing ERP system are a significant investment for any business. Therefore price is another vital criteria to take into account during your decision-making process and this goes beyond the simple ticket price of the software itself.
Consider the functionality, benefits and costs together - ask questions such as what are the costs involved in installing and maintaining it? Is it future-proof? Are product updates and upgrades included in the maintenance cost? Will my current networking infrastructure be able to support the new system? Does it do everything you need it to or will you need to invest in additional software to cover certain things?
Plan for the future
You should also ensure the solution you select is a form of manufacturing software that is scalable and will easily grow alongside your company. Plan ahead, plan for growth. Consider the features you will need as you expand, not just those you require right now. ERP is a long-term business investment, and moving from and to a new system is not a simple task. So, ensure you choose a flexible solution that's capable of accommodating your evolving business.