If you are in the market for an ERP system, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed. Not only do you want a solution that is the best fit for your manufacturing and company size, but it must also improve output and provide a rapid, impressive ROI.
Among ERP options, you will find comprehensive solutions that address everything from accounting and finance to data warehousing, CRM and project management. In fact, according to a study conducted by Find Accounting Software, most ERP system features can usually be categorized into one of the following: accounting, operations, sales or human resources. Most functions that are critical for any business whether enterprise or SMB are included in this list and are the heart of any ERP system...
Doing a little self-assessment first will likely narrow down your list of choices. Are you an enterprise business or a small to medium business (SMB)? Do you require specific functionality due to your industry vertical requirements, partner alliances or government regulations? Do you need to integrate with another third-party system? For both enterprises and SMBs, narrowing your list to industry-specific ERP systems will surely assist in this process.
In addition, determine whether an end-to-end system or a more modular solution will best meet your needs. Choose a scalable and flexible solution that will grow with you.
Once you have determined your functional priorities, consider features that relate to how well your users will adapt to the new software and how easily and securely you can implement the system. The following three recommendations from ERPeople and Qualiac will help you select and implement a more forward-looking solution for a better ROI.
Now that mobile usage is becoming more prevalent than personal computers, ensuring that the new ERP system has mobile applications and integrations that work on smartphones and tablets is critical for employee engagement. Mobile integration will help your employees come up to speed, increase productivity and leverage the full breadth of the functionality of the system. What better way to raise your ROI than to ensure that employee productivity is boosted by the new system?
No company wants to be the next Office of Personnel Management or Yahoo! when it comes to headlines about security breaches. Breaches that occurred at Seagate and Target affected not only the corporate brand but also the company reputation for recruitment, partnerships and customer data protection. An ERP system that incorporates security audit and risk management capabilities will help you avoid these types of incidents.
In addition, evaluate how the system will manage your data. While most systems can process transactions of many kinds, you may need a system that can help you turn data into insightful information from which you can make decisions and track metrics.
ERP systems are moving into the cloud. A McKinsey survey reported that cloud adoption for ERP systems may be as high as 50 percent by 2018. If your vendor provides adequate encryption, moving into the cloud may speed implementation and reduce upfront CAPEX, especially for small and mid-sized companies. This will not only save you the time and money needed to deploy an on-premises IT communications to house the ERP system and data, but it also will save you the personnel required to manage and maintain the infrastructure over the long term.
As you embark upon your search for the perfect ERP system for your company, be sure to contemplate what functionality is best-suited for your industry, size and unique needs. In addition, consider cloud storage, encryption and mobile integration features that will make your solution more rapidly adopted, more secure and an improved investment for the future.