Factors to Consider When Choosing an ERP Software
There are a lot of many ERP software solutions out there in the market and choosing the right software can be quite hard. Most people have a tendency of choosing a random ERP software then adopting their business to the software. This approach is wrong since it means that if the ERP software fails then the business processes grinds to a halt. ERP is supposed to offer the business competitive advantage thus even the selection of the software should not be taken lightly or made with inadequate data.
The purchase of ERP is a business initiative and thus the buyer needs to conduct a SWOT analysis on the business so that they can use this information in the selection process. This analysis should also factor in the future business process and what things have to be met to get there. These processes and business needs should be the criterion used to evaluate potential software vendors on how they demonstrate the capabilities of their ERP systems in view of the business needs.
Fundamentally the purchase of an ERP software is a business process but this does not negate the fact that the person needs to know how the software solution will fit into the existing technology framework.
The other important thing to factor in is the total cost of ownership. Most vendors during the ERP sales process downplay the costs and risks that come with buying their systems. This calls upon the buyer to conduct proper research on the ERP software before buying it so that they know all then ins and outs of the software thus they can ask the vendor information on these future costs before they buy the ERP software The person needs to uncover these hidden costs that come with the ERP such as maintenance costs, software maintenance, back-filling on the project team and hardware upgrades.
The person also needs to develop a realistic implementation plan because in the sales cycle the vendors might give an unrealistic implementation duration estimate. There are various factors that need to be included such as issues to do with software installations and other issues like proper functioning, testing and acceptance by users. This plan needs to be developed even before the ERP software is bought so that the buyer can be able to assess the costs and the resources that will be needed to make the project successful. The implementation plan should include every nook and cranny of the business process and the design of the work flow to other aspects like data migration, multiple test iterations, conference room piloting and other key organizational change management activities. By sticking to the points discussed above the buyer can make a logical decision on which ERP software is good for their business needs and will help them have a competitive advantage.