3 Steps to Evaluating ERP Software Functionality

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Going through the ERP selection process can be overwhelming and difficult and there’s a lot to consider. You may know that you need a new ERP or accounting solution but you’re not sure where to start. How can you be sure that you are selecting an ERP solution that is a good fit for your company?

When it comes to ERP selection, software functionality is one of the key components that most people think about when they embark on the evaluation process. The software must meet your basic functional requirements in order to be a useful tool for your business. Ideally, the software should provide you with more than a basic functional fit, it should provide a strategic advantage to drive efficiency and expand your business.

Let’s explore the areas you need to consider when evaluating various software functionality and how it will work within your business.

  • Define Necessities - Your ERP journey should start with introspection. The right way to begin ERP selection is to focus on why you are even looking for an ERP solution in the first place. What features and functionality do you need? Get your company leaders and key employees on board to provide their input on what they need from an ERP to do their jobs better and start making a wish list.
  • Prioritize Functional Needs - Ideally, the software should provide you with more than a basic functional fit, it should help drive efficiency, productivity and help you be more competitive in the marketplace. Use your list to create a flow chart of the needs in order to analyze the connection between the functions. Once you have done that, prioritize your functional needs list by:

- Essential needs

- Strong-but-flexible needs

- Bonus features

- Projected future needs

  • Evaluate Your Options - Once you’ve identified your needs, now you can start to look at which ERP vendors closely match your list. Remember, the goal is to find an ERP solution with strengths that align with your high-priority needs. Avoid trying to change your business just to meet what the software can do for you.Because the technology business environment is constantly changing, evaluation of the software vendor is as crucial as the evaluation of the functionality. It is important to analyze the ERP vendor as a company, not just the software the vendor is selling. Choosing an ERP software solution and vendor is a long-term commitment for the organization; in fact, the typical usage for an ERP software package (including future upgrades) can be anywhere between 10 and 15 years. Your team should analyze the vendor’s approach to ERP implementation (How are implementation services delivered by the software vendor - directly, or are they outsourced?), customer support (are support calls answered by the software vendor directly, or are support calls outsourced to a third-party support provider?), ongoing maintenance, software upgrades, etc.

If this sounds like too much for your organization to take on yourself, a great option is to work with an experienced ERP consultant like Borek Business Solutions. We can walk you through the entire process helping to reduce risk and provide peace of mind that you are selecting the right ERP that meets your needs today and into the future.

To get you started, take a look at this detailed Software Evaluation Checklist and contact the experts at Borek Business Solutions for more details.

Roger Borek, Borek Business Solutions, Oregon Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner.

 

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