Business Automation and Software Blog

ERP Selection Done Right

Posted by Robert Baran on Wed, Dec 07, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

Have you ever heard of the saying, “A day late and a dollar short?” Well, we don’t want you to feel that way with your ERP selection. Choosing the right ERP system from the start can save your company time and money. 

One thing that stands out when we talk to SYSPRO customers, both current and prospective, is how informed they are. Not only are they informed on their own manufacturing or distribution operations, but also about enterprise technology. It’s not just the big companies that have this knowledge; even newer companies or those with revenue that analysts would classify as the “S” in the SMB—Small, Mid-Sized Business—market have knowledgeable management who know a thing or two about good vs. bad technology. Many have had experiences previously with ERP or financial software other than SYSPRO’s. Some are more comfortable with it than others, but all those we have met agree on one thing: “It’s a lot easier to get technology decisions right the first time!” Don’t leave yourself a day late and a dollar short.

Three Uncommon Tips for ERP Selection

We are going to provide three uncommon tips to get your ERP selection done right the first time. They will be helpful if this is your first time purchasing an ERP system or if you are replacing your current system. A Google search will bring up many articles regarding core business drivers for ERP change, but we are going to focus on the things that people don’t usually talk about. We think these are critical to getting ERP right the first time. Think about these dating metaphors as you embark on ERP selection.

  1. Beware of ERP matchmaker mania

If you have ever been friends with a matchmaker, you know what it feels like to be bombarded with “help” finding Mr. or Mrs. Right. Well, the ERP technology sales world is literally crawling with that type of “help.” There are giant marketing campaigns, commissioned sales consultants, tech deployment companies, and resellers. You need to sort through this barrage of information, just like you have to filter out all the noise that accompanies the daily running of your business. You hear/read lots of voices, requests, and suggestions but … as a company leader, you’ve got to focus on those most important. Here is some advice on finding the right ERP match: don’t listen to the noise of all the voices and remember your basic requirements. Ignore hyped technologies that might have short-term appeal but not last long term. Make an ERP requirements list and stick to your terms.

  1. Know your comfort zone and stay in it

Think about where your company is comfortable in the IT use spectrum. It’s just like life, some of us love a huge party and some of us would prefer a quiet night at home in our pajamas. It’s the same with your technology choices. It’s true that you need to select technologies that will support operational efficiencies, future growth, and unpredictable changes. The fact of the matter is, you don’t need to rush from from 0 to 100 in 3 seconds, if that’s not where your business’s comfort zone is. Changing technology too quickly can bring massive headaches for mid-sized companies. Evaluate and pick your priorities carefully, poll your employees for which process changes and technology adoption curve best supports profitability. This doesn’t mean a management style where you stay put and don’t move forward, it means taking things slowly and understanding the corporate comfort zone for gradual change.

  1. Pick a partner to keep

Almost anyone can look good on paper, it isn’t until you meet and get to know each other that you see a person’s true colors. This same idea applies to ERP research. We live in a digital world and things just aren’t always as they appear. It’s the up-close look that will help you find your “forever” ERP mate. What we are looking for is trust. Can you trust the huge ERP provider to care for your smaller business over the long term? Is what they tell you true or hype? Will the hyped-up cloud provider have the capital to make it over the long haul? The main point is that you want an ERP partner that has a proven track record. They need to show that they have both staying power and flexibility. Find an ERP partner that you can count on to meet your business’ needs. Make a list and use it to pick your best candidate. Once you find one you like, don’t forget to check out their credentials.

Taking the Next Step

Learn more about ERP selection by downloading our free e-book, Thinking About ERP: The Executive's Guide to Setting Strategy for Selecting, Implementing, and Operating ERP.

At PositiveVision we are proud to offer SYSPRO. SYSPRO gives manufacturing and distribution companies an ERP solution that is scalable, cost-efficient, and backed by one of the longest-standing independent, international vendors of software solutions and services.

Contact us for a free consultation. We, at PositiveVision, would love to review your business and offer solutions that meet your specific needs.