What are the Best Tips for ERP Selection?

H. Bliss

The function of enterprise resource planning (ERP) is to coordinate data among different departments and tasks so they can share information that improves operational efficiency. Examples of tasks that might be handled within an ERP service include human resources tasks, accounting tasks, and materials and production planning. In order to avoid common mistakes in ERP selection, good tips include knowing the company's needs well, contacting business peers for ERP suggestions, and researching praise and complaints about each ERP selection.

An ERP service may handle human resources tasks, accounting tasks, and production planning.
An ERP service may handle human resources tasks, accounting tasks, and production planning.

A company should also make sure that the ERP handles information that the company can use to improve operations. An ERP selection needs to be catered toward the right industry. Different features in an ERP system will benefit different types of businesses. For instance, an ERP with features to help coordinate in-town product deliveries would be more helpful for a pizza delivery company than for a company that sells clothing through retail locations. A retail business might benefit more from an ERP program that helps handle retail sales functions than a company that mainly ships packages purchased through an online store.

When deciding on an ERP selection, consider whether it is better if the ERP software and data is hosted on site at the company or accessed through an online remote server. Onsite servers can have the advantage of improved security and easy access to the servers if they go offline, but they can also cost more. Remote servers, though cheaper and easier to maintain, leave the company at the mercy of the technical support department for the ERP system if anything goes wrong.

Organizations that can lose a great deal of money if their systems fail may benefit from onsite ERP servers with always-available technical support and repair staff. The wrong Software bugs and errors can make an otherwise helpful ERP system completely unusable. To avoid getting caught with difficult-to-use software, talk to colleagues with ERP systems and read online ERP company reviews that might reveal potential problems with an ERP selection that is under consideration for an organization.

It is important to look for an ERP program that works similarly in every part of the program. Designing ERP software so different sections interface with the user in a similar way can help make it easier for a user to switch between different sections. Another thing to consider when making an ERP selection is whether the members of the organization will be able to learn to use it. If an ERP system is too difficult to use or too different from the system a company currently uses, its members may learn the new system slowly. Some may never fully catch on to the new ERP system.

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