One-stop-shop for everything ERP!

One-stop-shop for everything ERP! post image

Enterprise Resource Planning systems have become a staple in effective business organisation. In broad terms, they assist businesses with the automation of tasks and streamlining of complex processes, which makes them an invaluable tool for organisations of all sizes. But as with everything IT, ERPs do not come without challenges, including how to choose the right ERP system. 

At YourShortlist we want to make sure you understand the possibilities that an ERP offers for your business and lend you a hand if you need it throughout the software procurement process. But before exploring your options, let’s dive into what an ERP system can do for your business.  

Understanding ERP systems

Enterprise Resource Planning systems are IT solutions integrating various business processes in one single platform. Whilst they originally mainly addressed manufacturing business processes, such as inventory and delivery tracking, nowadays most of them are able to integrate a great range of processes and adapt to different industries.  

Although some vendors offer more industry-specific ERP solutions, ERP software is, in general, highly customisable. It usually offers modules that can be tailored to your company’s requirements, from data analytics, reporting and forecasting, to compliance, supply chain, and customer relationship management.  

The benefits of implementing an ERP solution

An ERP solution merges data and operations from different business departments in one place, providing real-time visibility into everything business related that happens on the system. This gives you the information necessary to make smart decisions based on data. But this isn’t the only benefit of implementing an ERP solution: 

  • Improved business efficiency: by automating routine tasks and observing the current workflows, it’s possible to release workers from some of their workload and develop more efficient processes. 
  • Better customer service: thanks to its centralised database, an ERP guarantees better access to customer information, which results in improved order and communication accuracy and faster response times. 
  • Improved inventory management: with an improved communication between departments and automated sales processes, it becomes easier to track and manage inventory. 
  • Simplified supply chain management: a more controlled inventory and a better insight into sales trends leads to effective demand forecasting. This should reduce production issues.  
  • Efficient finance processes: ERP financial modules might include invoicing, collection tools, expenses tracking, and tax management among other functions. Analytics may also help pinpoint the source of losses to implement changes around them. 
  • Enhanced business reporting: an ERP works as a single source of truth for all business processes, providing real-time information that will be invaluable when assessing the company’s weak points and strengths. Choosing the right ERP solution

Choosing the right ERP solution

There is so much to consider when it comes to choosing the right ERP solution that it could make you think twice whether you really need one. To make it easier for you, here is our best advice on how to select an ERP software: 

Understand your needs first

You won’t be able to choose from the current wide offer of ERP software if you don’t know what your company needs. So, start by comprehensively assessing your business processes, challenges, and goals. Communicate with key stakeholders from different departments to identify what areas would benefit from automation, streamlined workflows, and improved data management. 

Define your budget

The costs of implementing an ERP system depend on several factors. Together with the initial cost of software and implementation, you will need to count in maintenance, training, customisation, and support expenses. But utilising an ERP software is an investment that should result in greater profitability. Later in this article we will talk about how to maximise your ROI with ERP. For now, start by establishing a realistic budget. 

Assess your deployment choices

The two main deployment options for ERP systems are cloud-based or on-premises. Cloud-based ERP solutions have lower upfront costs and offer great flexibility, scalability, and accessibility (we talk more about cloud ERP here). On-premises ERP software allows you more control over the whole system’s infrastructure and data. Assessing your business size, budget constraints, security requirements, and IT infrastructure will give you an idea of which deployment type to choose. 

Think integration and connectivity

In all likelihood, you already have systems in place to keep your company running. So, look for ERP software that can seamlessly integrate with your existing applications, databases, and third-party tools, and future ones you might be interested in using.  

Consider future growth

One of the greatest features of ERPs is their scalability. With time, your business might grow and evolve, and you need an ERP system that can accommodate this growth without losing effectivity. When considering your long-term goals, don’t forget to also observe the ERP vendor’s history in assisting companies across different sizes and industries. 

Compare ERP vendors

When comparing ERP vendors, do your homework: search for vendors with a proven track record of delivering reliable solutions, read customer reviews, learn about their experience in your industry and their customer support. If you find yourself short on time and resources to take on such big research, YourShortlist can help you. 

Maximizing ROI with ERP

When talking ERP return of investment, we usually hear about the impact of improvements in process efficiency and organisational agility. Of course, these aspects often lead to cost reduction and the discovery of new revenue opportunities. However, there is so much more than an ERP system can do for your business that might not be as easily measurable. It helps you navigate the ever-changing market, adapting to new challenges and customer demands, whilst aligning organisational processes with your business objectives; this is crucial for the company’s growth, but understandably, it’s hard to put in numbers. 

To make the most of your ERP system, here are some tips to increase its ROI. 

5 Tips to increase your ERP ROI

Planning ERP implementation and integration

Carefully planning the implementation of the new ERP system is key to avoid disruptions and reduce upfront costs. Organising resource allocation, engaging stakeholders, avoiding these ERP common implementation challenges, and ensuring the smooth integration with existing systems will make the implementation process seamless and quicker.  

Training and supporting users

There is no easier way to maximising any software’s potential than to educate your employees with training, continuous support, and access to help resources. Users feeling comfortable and proficient in your ERP system will be able to leverage the possibilities it offers.  

Data management and quality control

The main goal of an ERP is to act as a trustworthy single source of truth (SSOT). Implement standards for data entry, as well as regular audits and data cleansing tasks, to guarantee the reliability of valuable information. 

Analyse performance

ERP systems come with built-in analytics tools that allow you to monitor the software’s contributions to your business goals. Keeping an eye on these metrics will help you make data-driven decisions to improve the ERP system’s performance. 

Continuous improvement and adaptation

If your business changes, so should your ERP system. Be open to user feedback and perform regular performance assessments to identify areas of improvement, whilst staying updated with the latest ERP trends to keep your system relevant and effective.  

YourShortlist: a one-stop shop for everything ERP

There is so much than an ERP system can do to help you achieve your business goals, transforming the way you manage operations and allowing you time to develop new growth strategies. Choosing the ERP solution that’s right for your business is a big decision. But it is one we can help you with. 

At YourShortlist we are experts in software procurement. Talk to us about your requirements, and our team of advisors will hand-pick a shortlist of potential partners that suit your needs.  

Contact us and we will guide you through the selection and implementation of your new ERP solution.