Today, the entire business world is increasingly buzzing towards digital transformation and there is an ongoing series of shifts in global consumer behaviours. In this scenario, choosing the right ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution to support and power your business enterprise is highly critical in optimizing or hindering organizational growth. Industry 4.0 is a witness to countless technologies designed to scale and support a variety of modern business organizations. The key is to find the right solution that best suits the objectives of a particular business enterprise.

One of the most encountered ERP-related questions is the major criteria to be considered when looking for a suitable ERP system. Below is a general checklist to help navigate the dilemma.

1. Adoption rate of customers
The customer adoption rate specifies the number of customers that adopt a technology out of the total number of potential customers. A glance at the adoption rate explains the demand and usability of the system and its functionalities in a given time frame.

2. Depth of functionality
An in-depth analysis of the capabilities of the ERP solution that best suits your enterprise is a critical step in the ERP selection process. Finding the best functional fit involves careful and personalized evaluation of the systems, attending consultant meetings, watching demo sessions, and analysing functionalities that are absent with your current solution. Maximum automation and real-time end-to-end visibility are some of the key functionalities to look for.

3. Flexibility and scalability of solutions
Market trends and business needs are constantly undergoing seismic shifts, and so is technology. An ideal ERP is equipped to be agile and flexible to navigate difficult waters and adapt to shifting trends. It should be able to support the current as well as the evolving business strategies of an organization from a long-term perspective.

4. Ease of implementation
ERP implementation plays a critical role in the transformation cycle of an organization. A thorough understanding of vendor viability, partner, and support dimensions is important to mitigate risks and streamline a seamless implementation process.

5. Time and cost of implementation
Draw out a thorough evaluation of your company’s requirements and financial health before choosing an ERP. The adoption of complex and expensive features may not be feasible for many organizations. Therefore, make an in-depth study and purchase only according to your tailored requirements. Make a close background study of your implementation partner and check for promptness and efficiency in their previous implementations. Experts take far less time in implementing and greatly prioritize customer experience and satisfaction.

6. Third-party integrations
If an organization is using different software solutions or applications to manage various aspects, the ERP adopted should ensure seamless integration with them. Successful and efficient integration can save costs as they can breathe new life into their legacy systems, incorporating only the functionalities that they lack. Integrating ERP with the remaining systems means that all your customer, order, sales, finance, and product data will be up-to-date and synchronized.

7. Viability and roadmap
The viability of the ERP vendor is a critical criterion involved in making an ERP decision. Duration and performance of the solution in the market, its sustainable roadmap for the future, financial and manpower stability of the vendor company, valuable testimonials from former customers, and the current number of active customers- all these factors require thorough scrutiny and authentication to ensure a successful implementation.

8. Efficiency in organizational change management
Change management is a decisive aspect in the process of ERP implementation. Implementing compelling and practical strategies is imperative in mitigating common risks and mistakes and ensuring new successful technological onboarding. The readiness of the organization to adopt the implementation needs to be ensured, along with deploying various metrics to closely monitor and track the ongoing change across all modules. A detailed communication plan needs to be mapped out connecting data with all those involved. An important step in the change management process is the training and upskilling of the workforce to empower them in thriving the transition phase. This technology training is highly critical during the implementation.

9. ROI
The new ERP should be able to manage expenses more efficiently through improved functionalities, such as better inventory management, agile financial operations, greater supply chain visibility, automation of manual tasks, etc. ROI depends on the worthiness of the initial investment in the technology in the longer run. Hence, consolidation of a comprehensive ROI forecast will help in gaining a better perspective of the future.

With plenty of ERPs hitting the markets every year, choosing the one that best caters to your business needs is strenuous. Conduct ample research and count on demos and testimonials to narrow down the search. Further, choosing an implementation partner with long-standing industry expertise and reputation is critical in getting professional advice tailored to your technology requirements and for a prompt successful deployment.

TSC Research

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