Enterprise resource planning software — ERP software — is an enterprise-wide technology solution that brings all of your processes together under one umbrella solution, or suite of solutions. ERP applications, such as accounting, sales, marketing, CRM, e-commerce and customer service are typically included in ERP software systems.
ERP solutions effectively merge back office functions like accounting with customer-facing applications like sales and customer service. This results in an efficient, digitally integrated enterprise with comprehensive analytics that drive better business decisions.
When shopping for ERP software, consider the following:
1. Start the ERP software selection process by setting up an interdepartmental committee to evaluate different ERP software systems.
2. Determine which ERP applications and modules to buy.
3. Choose enterprise resource planning software that is properly scaled to the size of your business.
4. Compare the benefits of hosted and/or web based ERP solutions.
5. Establish an ERP applications implementation process that includes employee training.
6. Set metrics to determine ROI on your ERP software systems.
Determine which ERP applications to buy
ERP solutions are generally sold in a suite of modules that can be installed separately. The core ERP software application is accounting; all other modules integrate into the accounting program. A complete ERP software suite should connect every business unit in the company.
Hosted ERP solutions
One of the most important decisions you'll make is whether to buy ERP software that runs on your own servers or a hosted solution that resides on the server of the vendor who is responsible for hardware and maintenance. With hosted ERP solutions, you typically pay a monthly fee based on the number of users.
Choose an ERP software system that is properly scaled to your business size
While most ERP systems are designed for large, even multinational, corporations, several vendors offer solutions targeted to the small, growing business.
Find ERP solutions tailored to your industry
ERP software systems that are designed for your industry can save time and money you might otherwise spend customizing general ERP solutions to reflect industry processes.
- Determine whether the size and complexity of your organization justifies a full-scale ERP software implementation or if best-of-breed point ERP applications might be enough get the job done.
- Make sure the ERP software solution you choose is scalable for future growth.
- Considering hiring the services of an ERP software consultant to lead the selection and implementation process.
- Look for an enterprise resource planning software provider that has experience in your industry.
- With web based ERP solutions, you don't need an in-house tech department to handle software installation or updates.