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Factors to Consider When Choosing an ERP Software

There are so many ERP vendors out there such that choosing a good ERP software is quite challenging. A lot of buyers normally pick a system and then adjust the business operations to match that of then software. This is the wrong approach and it has led to many failures in business process due to failed ERP software. 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.

Since the ERP is a business initiative then even before commencing the selection process the buyer needs to familiarize themselves with the business processes, weaknesses and core strengths. This assessment needs to also look into how best the business can operate optimally in the future and what need to be done 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. However the buyer need to do their due diligence because it is easier to accept the potential cost earlier on before making the purchase as opposed to coming across them after making committing to a particular solution. In the research process they are bound to come across other costs like software and hardware maintenance and upgrade costs, bringing the project team up to speed on the software among other hidden costs.

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 has to be created before the buyer agrees to buy the ERP machine so that they can be prepared for the cost of implementation. This implementation plan should be very detailed and cover all aspects like the business process design, work flow design and other aspects like multiple test integrations, data integration and other aspects of the business like conference piloting. By adhering to the tips above the buyer can make an informed decision on choosing an ERP.

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