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ERP system: How to make the right choice?


These days, an increasing number of companies are turning to ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems to automate some of the most important elements of their business for better management and workplace efficiency. In fact, chances are good that you’ve already looked into using an ERP system for your own company. Unfortunately, the wide range of offerings available on the marketplace today can sometimes make selecting the right ERP system seem like an overwhelming challenge. Here are a few tips to help you make the right choice for your business.

First, it helps to understand that an ERP system is designed to serve as an integrated management software that will help you with a broad variety of your company’s tasks, including sales and marketing, product planning and development, and even payroll. By eliminating information barriers between various departments, teams are able to work more efficiently to provide stellar results for customers. While all ERP systems are designed to help management teams streamline their processes and improve customer satisfaction, there is no denying that each company is different-and as such, ERP system needs vary by business.

The size of your business is one of the first factors you should consider in choosing an ERP system. A larger company will likely have more data points that need to be integrated into the system, with more users who need access and to varying degrees of access permissions based on different employee responsibilities. Even though, smaller companies have several departments and data points to be integrated into their system, they generally don’t need a system as in-depth because roles and responsibilities are consolidated. However, small companies are usually best served by ERP systems that are scalable after all, you don’t want your current system to become obsolete when your company takes off! A system that can grow alongside your company is the ideal long-term solution.

Customization and ease of use are also important when selecting an ERP system. You and your team will be using the ERP system day in and day out, it’s essential that everything is easy to navigate and use so your new system truly will streamline your processes and help you become more efficient–as a difficult-to-navigate system will only do the opposite. Customization plays a vital role in the process of streamlining as well. For example, you may customize certain processes within your system be entirely automated, allowing you to save time and resources (and avoid any human errors). Yet you may also need to retain manual control over some processes due to the nature of the information being shared. Custom menus can help your employees quickly navigate your system to access and provide important information.

Another important factor to consider is whether or not you need the ability to access key information anytime, anywhere. Many modern ERP systems now grant users cloud and mobile access, which enables users to upload files and update information to the cloud from any location. Management gains real-time access to files and information even when they are out of the office, even on vacation. These features are especially beneficial for companies that work with a remote team of contractors or employees, ensuring that workers don’t need to be in the office to get their work done and stay connected with the company’s pulse. This also allows management to continue to perform their job effectively while traveling or working on business development outside of the office.

As you take the above factors into consideration, you will be better prepared to select an ERP system that is properly suited to your company’s unique needs, ideally with the aid of an expert to help narrow in on the optimal options for your company. By implementing a solid ERP system for your company, you’ll be able to break down the communication barriers between departments so you can improve your processes, satisfy your customers, and achieve your overarching goals.

Bob Paulson