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How to Choose Best ERP Software? An Essential Guide to Help You

Sep 05, 2020

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When the market is flooded with a lot of solutions for businesses of all shapes and sizes, it becomes challenging for CIOs to zero in on the best ERP Software for consistent and robust management of its resources and operations.

The decision to choose the best ERP software for your business is a task no less difficult than finding the right partner for marriage. Whether you are the CIO of a big enterprise or the managing director of a growing small or mid-sized business (SMB), there is no scope to err in zeroing in on the best ERP software for your business.

The stakes are high and the implications of any wrong move are hazardous to the overall health of the business. We have seen many businesses have lost years of time and money before they could realize that they have selected the wrong ERP. Hence, it is best to be prudent while making ERP selection.

Here are a few suggestions that can help you to navigate your way towards selecting the best ERP software from the multitude of options available in the market, many of which may not understand the language that your business processes talk in.

1. Know Your Requirements

Before venturing out on the search of an ERP solution, it is important that you first ascertain the areas of your business that are ailing and need a cure. In simple words, identify the pain points that are pulling your business down, and also list down areas of your business that you would want to be streamlined via process integration and automation. Defining requirements helps in mapping the expectations with features and functionalities that the different ERP software is offering. Selecting the best ERP solution for your business thereafter becomes an easier proposition.

2. Understand Your Business Ambitions and Growth Plan

The 2ndstep shall be to understand the business ambitions and growth plans. ERP is always a long-term decision. You don’t change ERP software every now and then. ERP must be able to fulfil your current pain points as well as your future growth ambitions.

3. Zero in On On-Premise or Cloud ERP

Ascertain if you should opt for an on-premise ERP solution, where the ERP software and the necessary hardware to deploy the software resides inside your organization premises, or a SaaS (software as a service) based solution, which is delivered via the Internet as a service.

While on-premise ERP software may serve well for organizations that can afford the hardware cost and continuous monitoring cost for the software and where the number of ERP users is likely to be very high (1000 plus users). Cloud ERP is a boon for small businesses and mid-sized businesses, who otherwise are wary of deploying ERP software for the sheer upfront cost that it entails. Since cloud ERP solutions are provided as a service over the cloud/Internet, the ERP vendor is responsible for related responsibilities such as product upgrades, data backup, and security, on an ongoing basis. For companies with limited IT budgets, a cloud ERP works the best as the upfront investment required to deploy the cloud ERP is negligible and the users are required to only pay for what they use. Apart from this, a cloud ERP software frees organizations from the hassle of having a brigade of expensive IT staff to manage the ERP system as the cloud vendor provides for this support too.

4. Compare flexibility to Move to On-premise in Future

As discussed above, once you grow, you may want to move to the ERP from cloud to on-premise. It is important to understand the Database Structure of the cloud ERP. ERP Provider may have the option of a Consolidated Database for all clients and in those cases, they will not be able to give you options to shift on-premise in the future. If the ERP Vendor has a multi-tenancy single company database structure, they will be able to give the same to you in the future.

5. Database Back-up Options

This is very critical to know if your ERP Vendors can give you the periodical back of your database. The database may be SQL or Oracle Database or other database structures. This can save you in the future when you decide to part ways with the ERP Vendors. If the database back is not with you, you will be significantly stuck with them for a lifetime even after terminating as you will be depending on them on access to your historical data.

6. Compare ERP Solutions

It is important to explore solutions that match your budget and requirements and then compare them at length on parameters such as cost and product fitment with business processes. It helps to patiently see the product demos carefully and ask the correct questions from the vendor to ascertain the product fitment. Based on this process, shortlist a few solutions that seem closest to meeting your expectations and then evaluate them on other critical parameters as discussed ahead. If you lack individuals with the skill to do this task, effectively, it works well to even hire an ERP consultant to help you in this best ERP software selection process.

7. Consult Existing Customers of the Shortlisted ERP Vendors

It always helps to check the worthiness of the shortlisted ERP solutions by referring to existing customers, preferably from your line of business, who are using these solutions. Their feedback on the ERP software and the vendor services and support can provide you with extremely useful insights about the solution, which you may never be able to get from the vendor or the product demo. This experience may change the course of your exploration and save you from making the wrong choice.

8. Ensure That the ERP Solution is Flexible

The ERP software under consideration must provide you with the flexibility to pick and choose modules and pay per use, instead of charging you for a pre-bundled ERP suite. In the latter case, you may end up spending on modules that you may never put to any use. Further, ERP Software must be flexible and customizable to your requirements. You don’t want to get stuck with ERPs which can not be customized to your future requirements.

9. Look for a Solution That's Elastic and Scalable

It always pays to deploy a solution that allows organizations to scale up and down the ERP usage as per their cash flows and business requirements. Cloud-based ERP systems are an ideal choice in case you have limited budgets for process automation, and where you want to keep the control to decide on the IT expenditure in your hands. A cloud-based ERP solution allows you to pay in an elastic mode as the solution is offered via a pay-as-you-use model.

10. Select an Industry-specific Solution

Every trade has its nuances. If these niche elements of the business come as part of the ERP features, it saves time and effort in going live with the system as minimal customization is required in the case of industry-specific solutions. Hence, look for vendors who ship a solution, meant especially for your industry than picking a generic solution, off-the-shelf.

11. Choose a Solution That Includes Best Industry Practices

Don't look for a solution that matches your legacy way of functioning; instead try and adopt a solution that offers the best practices of some of the best businesses in your trade, globally. It is always good to incorporate the best practices of the trade you are in if you have aspirations to diversify, expand, and collaborate with overseas organizations.

12. Deploy a Solution That Allows Integration With Other Software:

The best ERP solution is the one that allows integration with other software and platform such as business analytic software, CRM, mobile gateways, and so on. Furthermore, it is good to choose a vendor that provides a plethora of other such tools so that you discover all business services under one roof.

13. Implementation Time

Many ERP vendors have taken months and quarters to implement your software. In this dynamic world, you don’t want to wait for 6- 9 months before going live and then find yourself not suitable. Plug and Play ERP is the future. Try for vendors that can go live in weeks and not in quarters.

14. Ensure the ERP Software Has A Simple User-Interface

Last but not the least, it is important to ensure that the ERP software doesn't come across as a complicated piece of technology that your employees hate to use. For enjoying the benefits of process automation, It is important to ensure that the solution has a simple user interface and the process to accomplish a single task through the software is not long-winding. If the user interface is complex, the effort required to train users becomes strenuous, which may in turn lead to resistance for the newly deployed system and in some cases, even in the failure of the ERP implementation.

At TYASuite, we offer end to end ERP software that can enable any business to boost its profit. TYASuite Cloud ERP is a World 1st Plug and Play ERP Solutions. It has a lot of pre-customized features that can be modified to suit your requirement in the click of a button.

TYASuite

A revolutionary ERP software meticulously crafted to help industries grow without burning a hole in their pockets. TYASuite is a one-stop solution for your company which can be implemented just within a few days.