How do I pick the right ERP system for my company?

ARTICLE | October 12, 2020

Authored by RSM US LLP

An interesting change has taken place during COVID-19: companies that, until now, have been too busy to consider replacing their core business systems are taking a breath and doing just that. Staff members have some down time to help and management is rethinking long-term strategies and considering new ways of doing business.

During this pandemic, many companies have successfully started up new e-commerce approaches; rethink products and product bundling to facilitate the new approaches; close brick and mortar storefronts; greatly expand warehouse and logistics contracts; and, for some of our customers, for the first time, bid on government contracts to be a part of helping others during this period of great uncertainty.

You may or may not be surprised to learn that the ERP business is also booming, as companies push their systems to keep up with their new strategies. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when you decide to take the plunge and pick a new ERP systems for your company.

Am I picking an ERP based on what I see others in my industry are using?

The first thing to note is that most companies, across all industries, typically have similar ERP needs. Everyone wants to sell goods and services, take in revenue, pay their bills, pay their employees, have agreed upon contracts with their vendors, and report out on status to the management team. It’s that small 10-20% of requirements that makes you unique that will be a big factor in which ERP you pick, not whether the other business down the road uses Oracle or not. You may use a third party warehouse, while the Other business doesn’t. You may have 1,000 unique customers, while the other business has three large customers only. Be sure you are using the right requirements to pick your ERP, and not what competitors are doing.

What other systems do I have that the ERP has to connect with?

Integration is often one of the trickier parts of ERP implementation. Most companies have spreadsheets, databases, homegrown systems, or small one-off applications that happen to cover a critical part of making your business work. Understanding that, and picking a system that can integrate with that data, or be able to replace that functionality, is one big key to success.

Will my staff go along with it?

Management of the change is a make-or-break part of ERP implementation. A successful ERP implementation includes serious and sustained efforts on training, rethinking existing processes, communications with staff on the changes, and deep listening to these important stakeholders.

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This article was written by RSM US LLP and originally appeared on Oct 12, 2020.
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