How to Choose an ERP Solution Step 1 - Preparing for Solution Evaluation


Are you a part of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) selection projects? ERP selection is something that most manufacturing professionals have only experienced once or twice in their careers.

Either you want to purchase your first ERP system, or you have outgrown your current system and are considering your options. There are numerous software options available. How do you start? Before you make this crucial choice, be aware of the risks.

A well-designed system may automate operations, enhance reporting, boost visibility across entire business units, standardize and streamline business processes, and much more. A defective system might result in expensive errors and lower staff adoption. Lower revenue and productivity may follow from this.

What is ERP?

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a platform businesses use to manage and connect the most crucial areas of their operations. ERP software is vital for companies since it facilitates the implementation of resource planning. Sales, marketing, finance, and human resources can all be integrated with ERP software.

What does ERP do?

ERP software enables simple information sharing and communication across many departments. It compiles data on the operations and conditions of many divisions. Where it may be relevant, this information is made available to other areas.

ERP software can assist businesses in increasing their self-awareness. They connect the dots between distribution, financial, and production information. Each business unit's various technologies are connected through an ERP application, reducing duplication and incompatibility. Systems for order tracking, stock control, accounts payable, and customer databases are all integrated during this process.

What is the Process?

The traditional ERP software models, which required physical client servers and manual entry systems, gave way to cloud-based ERP, which can be accessed remotely over the internet. The platform is maintained by the business models that created it. Companies that use the platform as a client rent services.

The applications that businesses want to employ are their choice. The hosting firm loads the applications onto the client's rented server after they have made their choice. The platform's data and client operations are then integrated by both parties. All data on the server becomes immediately accessible to everyone with access rights after all departments have been linked to the system. Graphs, measurements, and any other visualizations or tools that a client may require to evaluate the performance of their company and its departments can be included in reports.

Enterprise Resource Planning: The Benefits

Firms can use enterprise resource planning (ERP), which is used for a variety of purposes by businesses, including expanding, cutting expenses, and enhancing operations. While the advantages for various companies may vary, they are all significant.

Increases Accuracy and Productivity

Redundancy can be reduced, efficiency increased, and unnecessary work eliminated by automating business operations. Additionally, related departments can coordinate their efforts to complete tasks faster and with better outcomes.

Challenging projects are nearly impossible to complete using conventional techniques. Employees used to need hours to conduct tasks like creating reports, monitoring inventory levels, maintaining timesheets, and processing orders. These tasks not only take time, but they also put workers at risk for making mistakes. Even the most experienced workers will make mistakes after entering the same information in several forms an endless number of times.

If you pick the appropriate ERP solution, even the most tedious tasks may be automated. Data entry and other repetitive operations can be automated with ERP software. Additionally, it enables quick, complex calculations to be made. This enhances the time your employees can dedicate to their tasks and improves the labor ROI. ERP can improve the effectiveness, output, and profitability of your business.

Improved Reporting

Real-time data reporting from a single source might be advantageous for businesses. Companies can use precise and thorough reporting to plan, budget, forecast, and inform shareholders and other interested parties of the present state of operations.

Efficiency Increases

Businesses can easily access the data they require about clients, partners, and suppliers thanks to ERPs. As a result, there is an improvement in customer happiness and accuracy, as well as quicker response times. As a result of the organization operating more effectively, related costs frequently decrease.

Increased Collaboration

It is beneficial for departments to collaborate and share knowledge. A freshly synergized workforce can boost output and morale among workers. Employees can better understand how each functional area supports the goals and vision of the firm. By removing tedious or laborious processes, employees have more time to devote to essential duties.

Although the features of ERP applications can vary depending on the package you choose, they all, in some way, enhance collaboration. As was already said, the centralized database is a crucial component that distinguishes ERPs. This database gives your business a single point of truth from which to operate. This eliminates errors brought on by inaccurate data and further cuts costs.

Get a Free Estimation. Talk to Our Business Manager

Why ERP is Important?

Many business functions can be managed using ERP software. But how does it stack up against alternative approaches? ERP is a compelling rival in the software market even if it has similar objectives with other software solutions. These are the eight reasons that every firm should think about implementing enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions.

You can Save More Money

ERP packages can still be a sizable investment, even though many suppliers provide variable pricing. Due to the hefty expenditures, many individuals find it challenging to trust that ERP will save their businesses money. After you get over sticker shock, it's easier to understand how ERP may offer a fantastic return on investment. ERP unites a number of your company's potentially dispersed systems. Every tool required for their work, from product development to accounts payable, will be available to your personnel.

Analytics that Works Better

Your reporting and analytics are improved with an ERP central database. An ERP is a potent business intelligence tool since it stores and records all user-inputted data. The creation of numerous reports for your team and your vendors can be made considerably simpler by ERP software. You can quickly put together information that would need days of investigation without an ERP.

Executives can see a customized dashboard in many ERP system as soon as they log in to read reports. These reports may include income and expense figures and customized KPIs that reflect specific operations. These reports are readily available so that you and your group may go on with decision-making. You no longer need IT personnel to produce your required information. Access permissions for reports are frequently set so only the necessary workers can view the company's data.

Read More: You Should Know These Important Benefits of ERP Solutions

Happier Customers

Managing your clients is more critical than ever. For suggestions on what to wear, how to live, and what to eat, more people are turning to the internet. Customer ratings from the past are more crucial than ever because 84 percent of customers trust internet reviews just as much as they would personal recommendations.

The best strategy to boost customer happiness is to offer goods and services that are focused on the needs of the consumer. With ERP, this is feasible in several ways. Customer relationship management (CRM) is frequently included in ERPs, or it is easily integrable with one. With an ERP, your CRM may access data from all corporate operations.

Simplified Compliance & amp; Risk Management

As businesses grow and conduct business internationally, it can be challenging to stay on top of all the requirements imposed. Local companies must know various laws governing environmental, human resources, and information security matters.

ERP can also aid with risk management. This technique is more dependable and accurate since accounting mistakes are less common. Overall financial management is enhanced as a result. Users of forecasting tools can predict demand, labor, and budget. You can make more secure schedules, budgets, and product development plans with the information provided here.

Improved Inventory Monitoring

Tracking and managing their expanding inventory is a significant challenge for developing businesses. ERP uses barcoding, RFID tags, and serial numbers to track inventory throughout the supply chain. These tools let you keep tabs on the number of goods in various warehouses, the items that are being transported, and the ones that are available for consumption. The effectiveness of pick, pack, and ship is considerably increased by this visibility.

Steps For Preparing The Solution Evaluation

It is crucial to exercise caution because choosing the ideal candidate carries a significant amount of risk. You can make a wise choice if you follow these steps.


Why are ERP transitions so rare? It is expensive and time-consuming to evaluate and select an ERP solution. It can also waste a lot of time and money. Optimizing and transforming companies is risky. They require proper investment. These projects can be disastrous if they are not done correctly. If done correctly, new technology can provide a tangible, quantifiable competitive advantage.

How can you tell when it's time to make a change? Sometimes, an ERP system or other enterprise software that worked well years ago may not be the best fit for current business realities. Perhaps your team relies on shared drives and spreadsheets to work in silos with different versions and is losing data accuracy. Maybe you are subject to regulatory changes or new industry requirements. You may find it challenging to adapt and comply. You may also find yourself confronted with the harsh truth about the inefficiency of your ERP system. As you struggle to manage inefficient processes, you will discover that your infrastructure cannot support your manufacturing operations as they move towards digital transformation.

Many others have failed to achieve the desired outcomes, and many of them have not been successful. I know what works. These tips will help you prepare your company to select and evaluate an ERP solution.

The Strategy

Establishing the proper foundation is key to a successful ERP project. An organization must have a clear strategy before it can talk to vendors or look at demos online.

Executives often make their first mistakes at this step. When it comes to ERP solution selection, the old saying "you don’t know what you don’t know” rings true. C-level executives often limit their ability to achieve success right away. They rely only on word of mouth and consult with their peers in the industry. While referrals from trusted sources can be a great source of confidence, it is dangerous to rely on anecdotal evidence regardless of its origin. While one resource might have had a great experience with a vendor, another may have had a different experience. Who is to say which one is correct? Decisions based on personal evidence may lead to the uninformed buyer having low expectations and not seeing the value in the product, and the selective buyer with unreasonable expectations never being satisfied.

When deciding on an ERP solution for your company, don't just rely on the expertise and ideas of employees. There is a lot of technology available for companies to review. Companies must decide whether a particular advance benefits their business and determine the best way to implement it. While most organizations have a lot of resources that have a deep understanding of technology and change, how many have experience with modern ERP solutions? Are they familiar with the best practices in ERP solutions for your industry? Can they tell you which techniques should be continued and which should be discontinued?

Read More: Best Practices of ERP Implementation for Successful Deployment

Form a team

Next, you must allocate internal resources and empower the team to achieve an award-winning ERP project.

Choose a core team. Choose a project manager who is both a driver and a communicator. This is an essential step in the selection process. Give the person the resources and time they need to complete the task. A project manager will usually dedicate 100% of their time to the ERP selection and implementation. Some parts of the project may require the core team members to devote up to 80% of their time. Burnout is a common outcome of core team members trying to balance their work and design a new system.

What skills are required for project managers to be successful on a technology project? The first is to be able to understand the project's resources, tasks, timeline, and desired outcomes. While a good project manager must be able to make informed decisions, they shouldn't invest in the current state. Because some of the veterans in an organization are too keen to duplicate current state processes, groups can be impeded from successful technology transitions. These processes have taken a lot of work, investment, and pride. However, a technology transition can open the doors to positive change. These resistors can be identified by a solid project manager who can provide the right resources to coach and empower their team. Before the right time and resources have been committed, no initiative should be given the green light.

It is essential to consider the opinions of others when assessing your situation and determining how you can move forward. It doesn't matter if you're looking for an advisor vendor (rare), a consulting firm, or a mixture of DIY and professional databases. You need to get objective and current information that will allow you to compare your ERP with that of other companies and the entire industry. A partner familiar with all the pitfalls and how to avoid them is a good choice.

Get Help

It is worth investing in outside assistance to document current affairs and plan for the future. This knowledge will provide the basis for a thorough evaluation and help launch a successful implementation. Everyone benefits from team exercises that assess where you are starting and assign future targets. This is for everyone, whether the user performs a few tasks or is responsible for the entire process. Everyone will not start from the same place or even the same chapter. These exercises allow teams to identify their roles and work together to determine how things are being done. You can then establish requirements for how new software will be evaluated once you have defined the current and future state processes. Evaluations often focus on functionality and adaptability.

Get a Free Estimation. Talk to Our Business Manager


The foundation for your future success is laid by how you begin the ERP selection process. Preparation should include socializing the strategic goals, gathering the team, and inviting true experts to help you assess where you are.

Your organization will be different if you can evaluate and implement unique solutions. Selecting the ideal ERP system for your company is a complex undertaking. There are numerous factors to think about. It can be divided into smaller, more manageable parts. To choose an ERP vendor, just adhere to the guidelines listed below. Make sure first to compile your needs. By carefully considering your options and making the most significant decision, you'll locate the ideal provider for your company.

How you approach the ERP selection process will set the tone for your future performance. The strategic goals should be communicated, the team should be assembled, and you should invite real specialists to help you evaluate your current situation. The advantages of ERP will outweigh the cost, effort, and time associated with implementation if you pick the correct package.