A Commonsense Approach to Selecting the Perfect ERP Solution

At Beck, we use the word “solution,” rather than “software,” when we talk about what we offer to our clients. As you review your available ERP options, take care not to confuse these two terms. To us, software is only one part of the equation. A solution, on the other hand, is a combination of software, services, and support.

Before you even begin to consider possible ERP options, you need to decide exactly what you want your new solution to do for your organization. Do not invest a second of your time in product demos, reading software reviews, or performing any other type of research until you have answered this question.

Once you know what you want from your solution, the next thing for you to do is define your business processes. This may take some time, but you will see the benefit when you start evaluating solutions, as you will be able to determine whether a given offering has the ability to address your processes. Extensive features and functionality are nice, but if they don’t speak to your particular issues, the solution may not be a good fit.

To determine whether a particular ERP solution is right for your organization, please consider the following questions:

  • If there are parts of a particular solution that do not meet your current business needs, can the solution be adapted to meet your needs, or will your business have to adapt to the solution?
  • Is the solution in step with today’s (and tomorrow’s) technology? Does it easily integrate with other technologies?
  • Does the solution handle today’s regulatory and global business requirements?
  • Will the solution increase your productivity and profitability? How will it do so?
  • Can the solution adapt to your business growth, both in terms of increased volume of activity and new initiatives or policies?

It is also important that you have a comfortable relationship with the vendor that is offering the solution. Is the vendor willing to invest their time in understanding your business before the sale, or do they claim that this is only necessary following your financial commitment? Will they provide you with a needs assessment and definition, or similar types of analysis? You must carefully evaluate the vendor’s viability, capability, and performance. To assist you in this process, feel free to ask the vendor for references. You may also want to avail yourself of any outside expertise that can help you to make the best decision.

Finally, make sure you fully understand the vendor’s contract, costs, and methods of interacting with your organization. Know what you will be charged for, what products to expect, and when work will be completed.

We hope this advice can assist you in finding the perfect ERP solution. For more guidance, we have compiled a few links that can help: