By Jim Wong, CPA | January 14, 2015

This week, we have guest blogger, Mike Robinson, Managing Director of Brilliant™ Management Resources and Technology Staffing, taking over for ‘A Brilliant™ Blog — Check In With Jim’ to give insight into purchasing ERP Software.

How essential is an ERP System for your company?

More and more companies are utilizing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to help maintain, manage and integrate their core business operations and processes. ERP software is comprised of integrated applications that help automate various functions of a business including manufacturing, technology, engineering and human resources.

Based on our experience supporting companies during various phases of an ERP change, we believe the decision to use and select an ERP is based on a company’s individual needs, resources and expertise. The phases of an ERP change are most easily recognized in terms of decision-making timelines.

The key points to consider when having a decision-making timeline include:

  • Understanding and communicating your need for an ERP change/implementation
  • Understanding and documenting business requirements for the ERP
  • Executing a thorough and informed search
  • Selecting the best ERP system from a growing number of options
  • Selecting the right implementation partner
  • Allocating sufficient resources (people, money and time) to ensure a successful implementation
  • Delivering a firm-wide adoption of the new ERP system for optimal ROI

Small Business Trends published a recent article on how ERP systems are used to enhance business productivity and business intelligence. Author Angela Nadeau provides insightful and concise points of advice for those embarking on the journey of buying and implementing new ERP system.

Here are 5 highlights from the article along with a few of our own to help guide you through purchasing ERP software:

1. Partner with the Provider

Seek an implementation partner that has proven expertise with the software itself and that will maintain a relationship of support throughout the process. This vendor will be your trusted advisor and as such should:

  • Understand your goals and future plans.
  • Provide you with insights, opportunities and risks associated with your new ERP (there is no such thing as a perfect system.)
  • Help you maintain the big picture while project tasks and details engulf your company.
  • Support your company during and after the system goes live.

2. Must Be Scalable

Having flexibility in the system is important when considering all key aspects of your company’s business processes from procurement through accounting, finance and reporting. A recent trend we have observed at our clients’ is a preference for module systems that can be configured for flexibility to their changing needs driven by an ever-changing global economy. As a result, an ERP’s flexibility is the preferred solution compared to customization of less flexible antiquated ERP systems.

3. Plan Ahead

A key point to any major infrastructure investment is research. Doing your homework to find the solution for today and tomorrow’s needs as best you can predict them. The article highlights a few specific areas of ERP functionality to consider:

  • Planning
  • Forecasting
  • Data warehousing
  • Contact management
  • Marketing management
  • Mobile business intelligence
  • Security management
  • Risk management

4. Consider Data Delivery

In addition to the aforementioned considerations, a critical function of an ERP is its ability to support business intelligence demands. Business intelligence commonly used term that may have different definitions across the organization. Bottom line, make sure you know what data your business needs and how it should be visible to the stakeholders of the company before making the decision to purchase and implement an ERP system.

5. Go For the User-Friendly

Lastly, we consider the most important element of all; adoption. No matter the system, partner, functionality and scalability if users don’t adopt the newly added ERP, your ROI will suffer. Process, system and workflow training are all key added time investments that will allow the quicker and longer lasting adoption of a new ERP system.

To learn how BRILLIANT can help with each of the key consideration points mentioned above, contact us today.

What are some other things to consider when purchasing an ERP system? Comment below and let us know!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.