You know it’s time. Your inventory is not optimized, customers are having frustrating experiences with delivery or returns, and it seems like data duplication is just the name of the game between departments. You know you need a better system and you’ve heard Enterprise Resource Planning software is the way to go for a firm your size, but how do you even begin the process of researching these tools? How does a company understand enough to begin weighing options and determining any one products’ viability for the organization?
While it may be tempting to throw this complex process into the hands of multiple vendors, there are definitely some high-level considerations that an internal team can, and should, explore before reaching out to software solution providers.
Here are the 3 Things to consider during ERP research:
Needs Assessment -- What this means, essentially, is you need to isolate your business’s biggest challenges that you believe a new software system would ideally solve. This involves identifying some shortcomings of the current system, identifying some ideal functionality in a new system and putting thought into scalability needs over the next 10 years.
Budgeting -- Total ERP project cost can be a daunting number, so consider balancing this number with the current cost of inefficiency. What is the outdated system costing you in lost time, productivity, duplicate inventory and labor, etc.? ERP costs are based on the following:
Implementation & Training -- While it might seem like you could worry about these details later, it is wise to take the long view of transitioning to a new system. Yes, a vendor will help do heavy lifting in this regard, however, corporate culture, planning and leadership plays a key role in implementation success. While your vendor will be an expert at knowing the software and troubleshooting transitions, you are the expert in your company’s departments, data, process and staff needs.
This means that understanding user roles and access needs, ideal streamlining of interdepartmental data, and training essentials, are just a few of the things that will fall more heavily on you as the client.
That said, a good vendor will be there every step of the way to help deepen your understanding of these considerations and help you make ideal choices. Educating yourself initially will help everyone involved and help you choose that vendor wisely. If you’d like more information about this process and how to get started, give Parallel Solutions a call at (440) 498-9920. And read about our customer’s experiences with us here on our testimonial website page.
Mary Jo O'Neill