Choosing an enterprise resource planning system may seem to be a daunting task. Businesses have different needs of varying priority, but don't want to only address the most pressing matters. After all, ERP is supposed to provide end-to-end improvements in visibility and operations, not simply focus on a few major concerns. This is especially true for businesses in the manufacturing and warehousing fields, as the various different aspects of production, storage and distribution require agility from a software system that exceeds the needs of many other industries.

With an emphasis on making sure as many needs as possible are met by an ERP system, here are a few tips for selecting the best possible platform:

  • Consider the present and the future: A truly successful ERP system will last a long time at a business. This also means that the software will eventually need to be upgraded, as a consequence of improvements and compliance issues. ERP Software Blog recommended seeking out a system that allows for a variety of possible future scenarios to be addressed, with an emphasis on adaptability. Speaking with vendors and other businesses using the same system can help organizations choose the best system possible.
  • Construct a timeline for return on investment: Having a rough sketch for when a business wants its ERP software to start paying for itself, and updating that basic plan as more involved information is gathered, can provide focus in the selection process. Panorama Consulting calls the ROI timeline one of the most important components of the selection process. Factors to consider include cost of the system, expected savings of both time and money in regard to specific processes and the increased agility that the broader visibility into operations will provide. Training time and the length of the implementation schedule also need to be considered.
  • Don't overlook a modular approach: Component-based ERP such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV allows businesses to select the pieces that best fit their needs without having to pay for unnecessary features or settle for a platform that isn't a good fit overall because a crucial ERP function is included. Additionally, organizations can improve their system on their own schedule instead of paying for new ERP all at once.

Learn how to define your ERP strategy by downloading the white paper entitled "ERP in Manufacturing: Defining the ERP Strategy" from the DMS website today.