When choosing an ERP system, many companies focus on features and functionalities. What can I do with the system and what not? Although this is very important, it leaves other important selection criteria underexposed or even completely forgotten. These are the 6 most important criteria when selecting an ERP system (and "Costs" is not one of them!):
1. Quality of the ERP system
It is important with an ERP system that you have all the functionalities your company needs. Do not try to copy the old ERP system in the best way possible, because that will take you a step back! The business processes must be leading and when you have optimized these, you can evaluate how the software fits to these business processes. You should also pay attention to the user-friendliness. An ERP system that is easy to learn and use will save time on employee training, increase the likelihood of acceptance, and is pleasant to work with for users.
2. Business partner
The right business partner is just as important as the system. Business partner, so not a software supplier. Because ERP is all about managing the company and that includes a partner who can help you with strategic decisions and optimize business processes. Of course, also with extensive knowledge of the system. But in the first place with industry knowledge and the focus on helping companies active in your industry. Therefore, look for a business partner who has built a successful track record of helping comparable organizations for years, with employees who know all the ins and outs of the industry and with software solutions that have been developed based on practical requirements and wishes.
Although ERP is a business project, technology does play a crucial role. You are looking for a system that functions perfectly now and in the future. Therefore, choose a proven successful platform, with which you are assured of continuity and innovation. Also consider how the ERP system fits into your current IT landscape and how it enables collaboration with other applications. Integrations with e.g. Office programs, the CRM system or systems of suppliers and customers can be follow-up projects. And the system must be able to grow along with your organization. For example, when you need more users, enter new markets or want to upgrade to a new version.
"Few business decisions have as much impact on the continuity of your company as choosing a new ERP system."
A successful go-live is a good start, but you also need the right guidance and support afterwards. Preferably from experienced in-house support employees who know your company and your version of the software. But support already starts with self-support. That includes checking instructions in the system, the possibility to watch support videos or checking documentation on an online portal. That enables you to answer a part of the questions yourself and you can contact your business partner for other questions. Furthermore, it is important to outline the route for the coming years; Are you going to stay on this version for a long time or are you going to upgrade frequently?
5. Return on Investment
Too often we look at the "costs" of an ERP system without comparing it with the potential profit it yields. A cheap ERP system that does not benefit you is ultimately a much worse investment than an expensive ERP system that makes you more efficient and successful. That is why it is better to look at the Return On Investment. Weigh the costs against the (expected) benefits. These expected benefits are not easy to determine. But think for example of more efficient service employees, a higher occupancy rate of the rental fleet or an increase in aftersales revenues.
Few business decisions have as much impact on the continuity of your company as choosing a new ERP system. If you want your company to still exist in 10 or 20 years or more, then it is good to investigate the viability of the ERP system and your partner. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is the applied technology reliable, popular and stable?
- Are there many companies running on this ERP system and do these companies operate in the same industry?
- Does my ERP partner have a successful track record in my industry and do they have all the knowledge and experience in-house to support me?
So, look beyond your list of system requirements, because there are more factors that play an important role in selecting a new ERP system!