When it comes to a piece of software that could revolutionize your manufacturing business at more than a few levels, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems takes a quantity of beating. But during the process that leads to making an investment, it is essential that you come to a decision on the best ERP system for you in the right way. Below, we will talk about some of the key considerations.
This element is crucial if you are to pinpoint exactly what you need an ERP system for and then ensure that the system you invest in meets the IT requirements across your organisation. Factor cross-departmental planning into your decision-making process by ensuring that you gather ERP requirements from different department, identify key critical issues, looking at operational issues in the business, current processes and business objectives. You want to make sure as many different parts of your corporation benefit from the new ERP implementation as possible.
Evaluation is key. You should administer a process which looks at all the ERP options, before settling on a select of the best choices for your business. Then request a demonstration from the shortlisted, asking them to show you how their system can help you overcome your key business challenges.
Use reporting and metrics wherever possible to make accurate comparisons between the different options so that you might assess the return on investment (RoI) more clearly. The reporting capabilities of the ERP platforms you are considering should also be taken into account - do they fulfill your needs or are there extra costs attached in order to track, report and analyze the information you require? Keep your stakeholders informed of the progress at all times, as when you reach a decision that you are ready to invest in, you don't want your final choice to come as a surprise to the important individuals in your company.
If you can find a partner to provide you with an ERP system that has been specifically designed with your industry in mind, you could be on to a winner. ERP software such as WinMan, which has been created from the ground up for manufacturers, stands a better chance of hitting the target when it comes to industry-specific requirements and business challenges that can make all the difference to the usability and overall effectiveness of your software.
It is unlikely you would buy a car or electronic gadget without seeking out a review somewhere and the same principle should apply when making an investment in ERP. Ask for references, assess them carefully, look for case studies and see which elements you could apply to your own operational issues in business, and pay particular attention to manufacturers which have similar activities and goals to your own as a position from them is worth much more than from a firm that is not closely aligned to your own.
Lastly, don't forget that your operational practices are likely to change over time, so look for ERP systems which are flexible enough to accommodate change as and when it happens. Another term used for these ERP benefits is 'scalability'.