YourShortlist makes ERP software procurement easier for buyers at every stage of the process.
Want to save time and money on researching the best ERP software for your business?
YourShortlist helps make ERP procurement simpler, faster, and more cost-effective. Our team of IT consultants help match buyers with their ideal software provider, creating bespoke shortlists from our diverse database of 700+ trusted software partners.
Whether you’re actively searching for a new ERP solution, dissatisfied with your current system, or simply looking for an alternative to your current business management software, we can help guide you in the right direction.
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What is ERP software?
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is a class of software solutions that empowers companies large and small to consolidate internal and external data and manage essential business processes.
ERP is often used as a method of planning and controlling all the resources needed to successfully sell, create, and deliver products and services while accounting for customer orders throughout the supply chain and processing all relevant finances.
The principles of ERP are applicable to back-office processes and business management in many sectors, from manufacturing and distribution to computer technology and managed service providers.
ERP software solutions are all about ensuring that your most essential business management functions can operate within a single system. When looking to deploy an ERP solution, you will likely require a solution that integrates:
- Sales, including e-commerce
- Accounts and finance
- Human resources (HR)
- Supply chain and inventory management
- Warehouse management
The software should be capable of serving a variety of business functions, even integrating with accounting, customer relationship management (CRM), project management, and human resources (HR) software to provide a full 360-degree view of your organisation.
Nowadays there is also an expectation for ERP systems to be cloud-based and easily accessible for all members of a team across the world. However, on-premises solutions are still widely used.
Cloud vs. On-premises ERP Software
In a world of ever-changing technology and business requirements, many ERP solutions have become cloud-based, or have cloud deployment options.
Cloud ERP systems are adaptable for remote working and mobile data access and can be a more affordable option for small businesses.
If your business wants data to be available remotely and at any hour, cloud deployment is the best option.
For businesses that prefer data to be controlled in-house, you can opt for on-premises deployment.
Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but the important thing is understanding your specific requirements. This will help you find ERP providers that offer the most suitable solutions.
Applications of ERP Software
ERP solutions are designed to streamline a range of functions into a single system. This makes it capable of serving many different applications within an organisation, including:
- HR – manage areas like employee tracking, staff evaluation and education, skills administration, and benefits management.
- Manufacturing – manage product lifecycles, bills of materials, manufacturing execution systems, distribution networks and more.
- Business Intelligence – data visualisation, data mining, analysis, and reporting.
- Accounting – payroll, accounts receivable/payable, ledgers, industry-specific features.
- CRM – track customer contact information and activity across service, sales, and marketing departments. Increase satisfaction, lead nurturing, and sales.
- Inventory Management – track product or material supply to avoid overspending.
- Supply Chain Management – monitor supplier performance and track goods between manufacturing, distribution, and retail facilities.
ERP Software Benefits for Your Business
Overall, ERP systems are designed to increase productivity while allowing better management of your resources throughout the supply chain.
It can benefit multiple departments across an organisation through:
Automation of back-office processes like accounts payable and payroll works in tandem with integrating and streamlined workflows. This leads to increased productivity and optimisation of management processes.
Accurately plan your operations by gaining an overall view of sales, inventory, and accounts. Integrating ERP software with existing systems can help you manage every department within your organisation.
ERP software can link all areas of your digital infrastructure, improving visibility and eliminating data duplication. With appropriate implementation, it can deliver scalable, long-term value and centralise your product and services data.
ERP software can serve a variety of business functions to meet the demands of your industry. Add-on modules or applications can integrate other systems like CRM or project management software.
Tracking and Reporting
ERP software tools allow users to monitor and report on key metrics to help reduce costs across the organisation and mitigate risk. Management decisions can be based on this data and thus better serve the business and customers.
Accurate, real-time operational management, data collection, and informational insights enable businesses to action important decisions surrounding cost reduction, streamlining, and efficiency.
How YourShortlist Helps
ERP software procurement is complex. And expensive. And time-consuming.
For technology buyers, finding a manageable, relevant, and profitable solution can involve many months of research.
Long lead-in times are often required, and it can be very easy for the scope of the project to grow exponentially. This leads to stretched budgets, missed deadlines, and headaches for IT managers.
Even large companies with dedicated IT departments may struggle with this. Small to medium-sized companies may lack the right resources altogether.
The challenges are numerous enough that the best way to manage procurement would be to use an ERP solution itself!
So, how does YourShortlist hope to provide an answer?
- Our team of consultants works with buyers to simplify and clarify the software market. We make it easy to see which providers and solutions are relevant to your needs.
- We handle the lengthy process of procurement for you. This cuts down wasted time and money spent searching for, deploying, and maintaining a new ERP system.
- We offer free advice and informative content relevant to you at every stage of the procurement and implementation process.
Download Your Free ERP Comparison Guide
How YourShortlist Works
YourShortlist uses best practices and data insights to make business technology procurement simple, transparent, and cost-effective for buyers.
We efficiently connect our ever-expanding community of technology buyers with technology Partners who can best fulfil their project requirements.
Our Members can trust that their recommended Partners not only meet their needs but have been vetted and reviewed.
Becoming part of our exclusive Members community ensures a dedicated solutions consultant will always be on hand to assist you with any projects.
After initial contact, we will gauge your current setup, IT requirements, and stage of procurement. We then begin the process of finding your ideal software solution.
We generate a bespoke shortlist of suitable ERP software options from our Partner database. You can opt to receive call-backs from our Partners, with no obligation to purchase.
As a YourShortlist Member, you receive access to our exclusive online portal to view Partner information and reviews. You will receive helpful content to guide you through the buying and implementation process.
You can contribute reviews once you’ve worked with our Partners. You can also connect with our advisors for support in finding and selecting Partners for your projects.
When Do I Need ERP Software?
Implementing ERP software is an effective way of centralising all your business processes into a unified hub. Essentially, this is where you’ll be able to access all the information and data you need to run your company.
There are plenty of ERP solutions on the market – all of them with varying degrees of efficiency and price ranges.
Before evaluating your ERP options, it’s helpful to determine which group you belong in:
Small to Medium Businesses Buyers
It used to be expensive for small businesses to adopt an ERP system due to up-front costs and technical obstacles, but small business buyers can now benefit from an expanding choice of cloud-based or affordable on-premise options.
Large Enterprise Buyers
The scale of your organisation across multiple business units or regions means you require ERP functions to be centralised. You would benefit from enterprise ERP software with a complete integration of departmental data.
You may require an industry-specific ERP solution, or may be better served by a best-in-class standalone CRM or HR system. A specialised system can provide in-depth functionality and enhanced features tailored to your industry or a specific business function.
No matter which category you fall into, if you want your business to remain agile, competitive, and adaptable to growth, then an ERP solution is highly recommended.
If you are yet to implement ERP for your business, here are some signs that it may prove to be a valuable investment:
Your current ERP system no longer supports your needs
Most companies purchase new ERP solutions because they have outgrown their existing one. Perhaps your company requires additional functionality that is not offered by your current system. Or you have decided to move from an outdated on-premise solution to a cloud-based system supported by regular updates.
Your business management software is too complicated
Having multiple systems for each of your business processes can be extremely complicated to use and maintain. Even if you were to have a dedicated IT team on hand, it would still be incredibly taxing on your daily resources. Implementing a new ERP solution can help to reduce inefficiencies and ensure processes are streamlined, modernised, easier to manage, and regularly updated.
You’re struggling to keep up with customer demand
A near-certain way to lose customer faith and loyalty is by failing to deliver on your core services and promises due to lack of management. Whether this is because you’re having trouble keeping track of inventory, struggling to find customer-specific information, or maybe even lacking recent sales in your analyses. These tasks, along with supply chain management, can often require an ERP solution to manage seamlessly all in one place.
Accounting is exhausting
Manually inputting data into accounting systems can be quite a chore, especially for growing companies. Integrating your accounting processes consumes an enormous amount of time and resources. ERP software can make it easier and quicker to generate reports, input data, and consolidate data across multiple systems.
Software integration is taking too much time
Perhaps you are making use of different systems and software to keep your business running. However, as your business grows you may find tasks and processes take up increasingly more of your time. Integrating multiple solutions involves licensing fees, operations and labour costs, and additional training. Whereas an ERP can remove the need for various solutions and integrations and provide an all-in-one suite that ensures multiple functions are served right out the box.
Considerations When Choosing ERP Software
To ensure your new ERP system can help you achieve your company’s goals, consider your future objectives and projected growth.
- Individuals from different departments should identify key requirements for their areas of expertise. Establish a project team to highlight requirements across the entire business.
- Allocate responsibility to key personnel for internal software support and maintenance post-implementation.
- Guaranteeing external software partner support in the early stages will negate the need for training further down the line.
- Review and map out your business processes to gain a picture of how the software will support and impact your company.
- Ensure buy-in from the team and that the ERP system will be utilised by all relevant members of staff (as well as ensuring they are trained in its use).
- Look for well-supported software that provides longevity and scalability to adapt to changes and growth within your business.
Keeping all the above considerations in mind can make the procurement process much easier.
Challenges of ERP Procurement
Even with careful planning and foresight, you may still encounter issues in the procurement process that will cause delays or result in problems further down the line.
For anyone looking to begin the process of buying new software ERP systems, keep the following challenges in mind:
Clearly defining your goals for the ERP solution at the outset will narrow down your search criteria. This keeps your focus on systems that are relevant and achievable to implement for your business.
As the scope of ERP procurement escalates, so too can the associated costs. Buyers should keep in mind the scale of their organisation and database. The more data you must migrate to a new ERP system, the longer and more costly the process becomes. Carrying out a data audit prior to procurement can be an invaluable exercise.
Return On Investment
A key factor will be ensuring a return on investment with any shortlisted software. ERP is often costly to setup, so you should be confident that the solution can achieve your desired results and provide the necessary functionality to make it a worthwhile investment.
Other challenges worth considering include:
- Disruption: Your chosen software should be easy to implement and should not disrupt ongoing business.
- Functionality: The software should provide functionality that supports and improves your current business processes.
- Reputation: You should undertake sufficient research to ensure the software provider can deliver as they claim
- Expansion & Support: The software should be able to expand and grow with your business. The software provider should be able to support you during and post-implementation
- Change Management: Your team might be used to working and managing ERP functions a certain way. Ensure buy-in from the team to make the transition to a new solution as smooth as possible.
- Implementation Time: Consider how long a particular solution will take to implement for your business.
Timescales are in fact one of the most important things to consider throughout the procurement and implementation processes. They will allow you to effectively plan an entire ERP procurement and implementation project from start to finish.
Timescales for ERP Implementation
Typically, a review process for selecting and onboarding enterprise ERP software can take between 6 and 12 months.
This would involve comparing options on the market to narrow down a longlist of around 10 to 12 providers.
This would then be narrowed further to a shortlist of 6 to 8 providers.
Finally, IT buyers must compare software options from each provider to determine their best overall solution.
Once you’ve chosen an ERP solution, implementation would progress in the following stages:
1Discovery & Planning
Gather cross-departmental input on your business requirements and issues needing solved through ERP system
Analyse your existing workflow to identify customisation requirements and how best to migrate your data.
3Development & Testing
Configure the ERP software, train your personnel, migrate data, and test the functionality of the system, addressing any issues that crop up.
4Deployment & Support
Finalise setup and data migration, launch the system, finish staff onboarding and training. Maintain the system through updates and technical support.
ERP software implementation is not a one-off exercise, especially with cloud ERP systems continuing to update and evolve in complexity.
You will need to ensure issues are addressed and the system is supported in the long term by the provider.
Buy-in from key personnel in your business is also essential to ensure the system is used to its fullest potential.
The best way to ensure smooth and efficient implementation is to select an ERP solution that meets your key criteria, is easy for to adopt, and integrates with or streamlines your existing systems.
Rather than waste time and money sorting through hundreds of potential options, speak to someone that can manage the procurement process, so you don’t have to.
Your ERP Needs, YourShortlist
At YourShortlist, our goal is to make technology procurement simple, transparent, and cost-effective by matching businesses with the right software providers.
We’re all about helping our members understand, choose, and implement the solutions that will facilitate successful growth. We manage a diverse database of over 700 software partners providing solutions in ERP, CRM, cyber security, cloud migration, HR, and more.
With the help of YourShortlist, IT buyers across the globe have made better-informed decisions on new software, infrastructure, and managed services to improve their business.
Our non-chargeable service includes:
- Independent buying advice on the best ERP solutions and providers on the market
- A bespoke shortlist of specially selected partners experienced in implementing ERP solutions for your industry
- Partner background information
- Free call-backs from partners with no obligation to purchase
If you’re on the hunt for a new ERP system, discuss your requirements with a team member. Begin the journey today towards a free, no-obligation shortlist tailored to your business; YourShortlist
Book a meeting with our team or call us on +44 (0) 20 4532 5532 and we can match you with the software partner you need.
Download Your Free ERP Comparison Guide