ERP is a hyper-targeted software that is deployed in organizations that have a very specific need for one or more modules that make up the complete solution.
From managing company finances, to monitoring HR requirements, managing sales and distribution, procure to pay cycle, CRM and much more, ERP is the buzz-word these days. Enterprise level as well as SMEs, both are showing an active interest in what ERP software can do for their businesses.
If you are also thinking about purchasing ERP suite for your company we have some questions for you to consider to help you make judicious choice.
Do you actually need it?
ERP is great, but it isn’t for everyone. Does your organization have a disconnect in communication and decision-making that is affecting operations and eventually the bottom line? If you’ve answered yes, then ERP is what you need to make your business operations effective, transparent and efficient.
Can you afford it?
This question is only about money. Yes, ERP software is expensive, and while opting for a scaled-down, optimized solution will definitely be cheaper, there are other factors to consider. Will eventual ROI for ERP solution justify the cost? How long will it take your organization to reach this ROI? Further, do you have sufficient resources available to be trained and dedicated to managing the software? Will this solution integrate with your current IT environment or will you need to shift to another that matches the ERP solution?
Some of these might seem small bumps in the road to ERP deployment, but if not given due importance, they have the potential to snowball and make the ERP deployment and implementation effort extremely time consuming and ineffective.
Is the senior management on-board?
It is imperative for the entire senior management to agree to the deployment of ERP in the business. The success of ERP solutions lies in transparent communication and having stake-holders at odds over the effectiveness of ERP can seriously hamper transition from the previous software used in your organization to an integrated solution like ERP.
Local or Cloud?
Which version of ERP is right for you? There is no clear-cut answer to this and the decision must be made in clear communication with the vendor you have selected for this software. The location of the vendor, the team they have in place and the scale of your business are key factors in this decision. A company that is located in another country will prefer cloud based systems, while a local company will have the resources to manage on-site visits as and when required.
A remote team may be in different time zones which could mean 24/7 customer support is available, which may not be the case for a local company. Further, the larger your organization, the more ERP modules you might have to purchase, which would in turn mean more communication with the vendor. This is also a factor to consider when you are deciding between cloud based or local ERP solutions.
How customized is the solution for your business?
While industry-specific ERP solutions will generally have the same type of solutions, how customized do you want your solution to be? How deep do you want each module to drill down for data analyses, reporting and management?
If your business is small and there isn’t any requirement for deep-level reporting and analyses, then maybe a different solution will work for you at lesser cost than is involved in purchasing and deploying an ERP solution.
There may be other factors to consider while deciding for or against ERP software for your company, but these basic guidelines should set you on the right path and help you decide if ERP is right for you at this time, or perhaps you might want to hold a little longer for your ERP journey.