Reframing the ERP selection process

///, Inventory Management/Reframing the ERP selection process

Selecting a new piece of software that will have major impacts on workflow and efficiency shouldn't be taken lightly. Whether companies are considering a warehouse management system, customer relationship management software or an enterprise resource planning platform, making the right decision will have long-term effects on how an organization can benefit from the investment.

The process of choosing an ERP system may seem complicated, due to the number of vendors on the market and the different types of systems available. Because manufacturers and warehousing operations often have a wide variety of needs that range from improving physical inventory tracking on the work floor to greater visibility into financial affairs, finding the right fit is often more difficult than it is for a company with simpler requirements.

Recent debates on ERP news sites such as TechTarget have centered around making decisions based on the size or experience of the company providing the software. While a lack of needed functionality is commonly discussed in relation to ERP, a bigger issue is that major vendors often have features companies won't end up using

Target needs to keep spending low and efficiency high
It may seem like having extra capabilities on hand in an ERP system isn't necessarily a bad thing, but implementations of large, monolithic systems lead to additional costs and time obligations. The extra elements also aren't often used, and end up being wasted in many situations. In a separate article, TechTarget recommends that companies put the majority of their selection efforts into finding systems that meet their most pressing needs, instead of focusing on new developments that have a lot of industry buzz.

For companies looking to combine reasonable costs, effective focus on issues that need to be addressed and the ability to change and upgrade, modular ERP is likely the best choice. With a basic platform that addresses standard concerns and can be customized and enhanced to focus on individual issues, systems such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV create an environment where companies have more agency in the ERP process. Selecting specific components means that no money is wasted on features that won't be used. This more targeted approach allows for a better focus of allocated funds as well as a more effective ERP system after the implementation process has been completed.