Look beyond integrating with older systems for new ERP offerings

////Look beyond integrating with older systems for new ERP offerings

Businesses that have antiquated but functional enterprise resource planning systems may be placing too much of a priority on trying to keep those platforms alive when they upgrade or switch providers.

CIO.com points out that the current market for ERP products is increasingly competitive as well as fragmented. Although existing software likely served your business well in the past, there are also reasons why your organization is making the move to a new provider.

Modular ERP is one way that businesses can individualize experience and functionality without having to have providers create expensive and possibly time-consuming alterations, a common practice in the past with ERP. Microsoft Dynamics NAV is one system that effectively integrates a strong basic system with additional components that can handle industry-specific concepts like a barcode inventory system or other concerns.

Consult with suppliers and focus on the future
Understanding what different providers have to offer is important, from the actual software to troubleshooting to support for future changes and modifications. Ask about expectations for your own organization's technical proficiency and ability to use the software, as well as the provider's training programs. Talking with partner companies, vendors and other businesses related to yours can also provide some salient advice on the different solutions available across the broad ERP market.

Modular ERP can help in creating a unique and holistic solution by adding various components to cover all the needs of a business without including unnecessary items. The ability to introduce new features on an as-needed basis is another flexibility for businesses to consider.

If there are plans to expand business operations, types of production and other concerns, it's important to know up front if your company can make adjustments on an as-needed basis or if it's necessary to incorporate these future needs during initial implementation.

What do best-in-class providers offer that others don't?
Research from Aberdeen Group about overall ERP effectiveness points out a number of traits that top providers share. Besides the various concrete performance metrics, some of the best ways to identify a great vendor are the abilities to provide an adaptable yet structured strategy.

Best-in-class providers better able to be able to demonstrate that their solutions can work across the many, sometimes-disparate parts of a company. Also, top providers are 75 percent more likely to track the ongoing use and effectiveness of their solutions, instead of simply implementing and then letting customers sink or swim.

To discuss Microsoft NAV solutions for manufacturing, join the Microsoft Dynamics NAV for Manufacturing LinkedIn group.