Upgrading to an ERP solution from a legacy system requires preparation. By setting priorities, your organization can select the ERP that improves the odds of a successful implementation and the achievement of positive business outcomes. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to selection. However, the decision-making process is simplified by considering the following priorities.
What are Your Business Goals?
Brainstorm with stakeholders as to why an ERP is the best solution for your business goals and strategy? For example, if you want to compete with better customer service, then perhaps an ERP solution could help with service and support.
Or, your objective could be to keep up with the latest technologies. Perhaps your legacy accounting system doesn’t support current data or sales volume. Are manual processes creating redundancies, or are data silos slowing things down? These are all important to consider in defining the purpose of implementing an ERP solution.
Where are You Headed?
A scalable ERP not only addresses business requirements now, but in the future as well. To determine the future direction of an organization, all stakeholders and employees should ideally be included the ERP selection process—with a chance to give input on future direction of the business and potential requirements for ERP. Their feedback can provide insights into where to look to achieve process improvement, e.g. do you want take your business online? That will have an impact the kind of ERP you choose regarding e-business features and so forth. The business processes identified can serve as a framework for use cases that determine the kind of ERP functionality needed. By visualizing the future, your team can document processes that must be supported.
How do You Define Value for an ERP System?
Focusing on the long-term benefits of an ERP system provides an accurate look into its true value. There are up-front implementation, customization and licensing costs. The vendor’s pricing model is based on a range of factors. But to determine the true value of an ERP, subtract the total cost of ownership (TCO) from the return on investment (ROI) you expect to see. If the cost of doing nothing and sticking with your legacy system is higher than implementing the system under consideration, it’s time for an upgrade.
Which ERP Elements do You Need?
Which elements are most relevant to your business? A modern ERP such as Sage Intacct includes intuitive dashboards and customizable screens along with many specific modules for logistics, field support and so forth. Mobile notifications can be sent directly to salespeople as well. The elements specific to your business are crucial, including CRM, business intelligence, project accounting, finance and e-commerce functionality.
Mobile device integration is one of the most important aspects of a modern ERP. It enables task management, time reporting and expense/sales order approvals on a smartphone or tablet. Access to data and trends is simplified with mobile-friendly dashboards and navigation tabs. Users can tap or swipe a tab to view information without being present in the office. Decision making can be done on the spot, even if key personnel aren’t on site, which can also reduce transportation costs.
The good news is that there are many excellent ERP solutions now on the market, including cloud-based offerings like Sage Intacct. They typically include product editions suited for businesses of all sizes, in different industries. Knowing your organization’s priorities for selecting an ERP, you can compare products side-by-side. We can help in this process, so if you want to understand how a new ERP solution might benefit your business, let’s talk.