Guide to ERP Software Selection (Part 1)
Selecting an ERP software system can be an intimidating process. There are hundreds of ERP systems available for manufacturers; how can you be sure you’re making the right choice for your company? Here are some tips to help take the pressure off.
Understand your needs.
What problems are you trying to solve? What problems persist? How would you like to see your company become more efficient? Where do you see the company going in the next 10 years?
Take some time to evaluate your company’s workflow and create a Request for Information (RFI) to send to potential ERP vendors. They should be able to meet your highest priority items.
Define your parameters
What are the essential features you need your system to include? What is your budget? What is your implementation time-frame? How many user licenses do you need?
You should be able to quantify your needs as much as possible. These may change as you move along in the process and you may realize your company needs features you didn’t even know existed. Even so, it is important to have a general idea of your company's needs.
Do your research!
Research each company's website and use review websites, like Software Advice, Capterra, or Top 10 ERP to see what other manufacturing companies are saying about the software. Look at products that fit your industry and try not to limit yourself to the largest brand name on the market. The most important factor is how the ERP software fits into your company's specific workflow.
Narrow your search
Sift out options that will not fit your needs. Make decisions based on quality, features, budget, and how well the vendor will help your team make a smooth transition to their software. Grade your requirements from highest priority to bonus feature. Most software packages provide the basic functions, so try focusing on the quality of the features that your company needs most.
Bring others on board
Not only does upper management need to be on board, but we suggest working with your other departments during the selection and evaluation process. If they are not comfortable with the program, consider that in your decision, as well. This new system is going to be used by every person in the company in some capacity; including a representative from each department in your decision may be beneficial to getting a clearer understanding of what the company needs and how your staff will feel about the software during and post-implementation.
Stay tuned for the next Quick Tip on what to do after you have chosen your system!
MIE Solutions provides an enterprise resource planning software for manufacturers called MIE Trak Pro. MIE Trak Pro has been chosen as Gartner’s 2017 Leader in Manufacturing Software and Gartner’s 2017 Contender in ERP Software.