To help you with your evaluation process, here are three questions you should be asking in order for you to make the best solution selection.
1. Does the ERP solution go beyond simple accounting? Many solutions offer deep financial reporting, inventory management, and budgeting capabilities. However, does the solution offer a unified solution that goes beyond basic ERP functions to deliver a complete and timely picture of your business? For example does the solution offer:
- integrated business intelligence (BI) and reporting tools
- collaboration and communication tools that span business processes
- anytime, anywhere access to enable increased employee productivity
2. What are the strengths and weaknesses of each solution you are evaluating? The old cliché ‘better the devil you know’ can be applied to ERP also. Do the due diligence and take the time to research to find out how many customers the vendor has, how stable the company is, and if they have experience in your industry. Dig deeper and ask for product roadmaps, learn more about the breadth of offerings and how the system will grow and adapt as your business evolves.
3. Does the solution offer ease of use? There’s a few different ways ease of use should be considered.
- The individual user experience - A good business management solution should be easy for your people to understand and use. This will eliminate extensive training time and costs and accelerate adoption.
- Applicability across the business - Benefits can be amplified when a business management solution extends to all parts of the operation. Consistent, end-to-end ease of use helps everyone communicate and collaborate better, meet deadlines, and make the best decisions.
- Seamless integration with other systems - An ERP system might be easy to use but the benefit can be lost if it isn’t compatible with other systems you use. Ensure the business management solution works with other systems and technology that your company already uses.
By: Encore Business Solutions, a Microsoft Dynamics VAR in Canada