If your current accounting or ERP software solutions no longer meet your business requirements, stop for a moment and consider one key concept, all systems “do” accounting. What you need is a more effective and efficient way to “manage” your company. That’s why the term “
Business management software helps you perform required tasks (e.g. sales order entry), monitor, control and improve these tasks, monitor key business drivers, the state of your firm’s health and finally make sound business decisions.
If you are going to achieve competitive excellence, your ERP system selection project must start by creating a solid foundation that will help you understand precisely what you need to do to maximize your chances of success. This article isn’t an exclusive list that guarantees success. However before you do anything, consider these suggestions and then add other factors you think will be important. Forget about
12 Key Considerations for ERP Software Solution:
1. Determine whether you really know what you are doing
Many ERP system selection project fail simply because the key project leaders don’t know how to manage what could become a very complex project. If you don’t know what you are doing, involve outside people who do know.
2. Ask yourself if you are ready to change
The implementation of a new ERP system can be quite a traumatic process for many people. Don’t just assume people will fall into line. Instead determine the degree to which people will resist change and create programs that will help people with the transition. Change management is a key ERP system selection activity.
3. Start a quiet conversation
Encourage an open and honest discussion of your current system as well as the functionality and information people will need to maximize their efficiency and effectiveness. Get people involved in the conversation and therefore involved in the project.
4. Improve your business before you improve your ERP system
If a company is not organized for success (culture, leadership style, business processes and finally business management software) a new ERP system will accomplish little if anything. Use this opportunity to take your business apart and put it back together so that it can compete more effectively.
5. Secure universal buy-in
If people feel as though their opinion matters, they will support the ERP system selection project.
6. Start at the bottom
Operational excellence is one of the keys to business success. It is therefore imperative that you ask operational people what they need from your new ERP system.
7. Create a system that serves your customers
Customers are the life blood of your company. Ask them what you can do to meet their needs.
8. Forget about where you are today; define where you need to be tomorrow
ERP systems support a firm’s efforts to achieve excellence, but a significant part of being an excellent firm is the constant search for opportunities to improve. That’s why you need to evaluate where you want to be, not just where you are today.
9. Understand what’s possible
Educate yourself. Learn what’s possible so you can take advantage of today’s ERP system capabilities. At the same time don’t assume you need all of the functionality today’s ERP systems support. Understand what’s possible, but define only those functions you absolutely require.
10. Find a potential business partner
Product resellers can help you understand today’s ERP system capabilities. At the same time you can evaluate their capabilities as potential business partners. You need to find a partner who is more interested in helping you achieve success than helping them sell software.
11. Create a reporting system that leads to better decisions
Getting the job done is the responsibility of an ERP system’s functionality. Monitoring key business drivers and supporting the business decision making process is the critical responsibility of your ERP system’s reporting system. Forget about row and column reports, bar charts and pie charts. All of these values are but a snapshot of a business condition at a specific point in time and you cannot make a decision based on a single value. You need to know where you have been (history), where you are (today’s position) and where you are going. KPIs are the only way you can determine where you need to spend your valuable time.
12. Create a step-by-step selection plan
Don’t rush this project. Take whatever time is required to create a step-by-step ERP system selection process. This isn’t just how to implement the product you purchase. It’s also about creating effective business processes and helping people prepare for the transition.
Although you might refer to this project as selecting ERP software solutions, the key objective is business management excellence. As you evaluate your business, develop a vision of how your business management software is going to help you compete more effectively. In the end you need to do several things very well.
- Create a foundation for business success.
- Determine how you can serve your customers more effectively.
- Determine how your ERP system can help you compete more effectively.
- Design efficient and effective business tasks.
- Monitor and control those tasks.
- Improve these tasks and your business continuously.
- Create a business reporting system that gives you the ability to monitor, control and improve your key business drivers.