4 tips when vetting a Public Sector ERP

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Implementing a public sector ERP is not without risk, varying from choosing an ill-fitting system to deploying solutions that employees don't end up using. The road to choosing an ERP is full of considerations. One of those considerations is choosing an ERP that is geared towards use in the public sector and one that fits the uniqueness of your specific needs.


When vetting a new Public Sector ERP here are four things to look for:


  1. Digital system that employees will actually use

Having a manual system can be a paper-based nightmare. Deploying an expensive system that no one will use is worse. How do you make sure that your employees will use a government software application that took months to implement?


Choose a  public sector ERP that has an intuitive interface. This may seem like a no-brainer, but this aspect can be easily overlooked when you’re in the weeds of research and the discovery process, when you’re evaluating the more significant functionalities. Use an interface similar to programs that your employees have used in the past makes it more likely that government employees will actually use, instead of by-passing the new technologies and falling back to paper-based or Excel-based processes that employees are used to.


  1. Fully integrated system


System integration can sound like a far-fetched dream. However, a fully integrated ERP is available in the marketplace to meet public sector’s specialized needs. Once you made a list of all your system-wide requirements, find a vendor that has broad capabilities to enable full integration. Ideally, you can get all that you need out of an ERP through one vendor, with perhaps another vendor that offers add-on modules to help you customize your system.


The idea is to have one system that connects data, people and departments such as human resources, payroll, finances, customer service. Using a single system lowers overall cost and you don’t have to deal with various vendors, siloed software and different versions.


  1. Applications that are easier to use than Excel


Over-reliance on Excel spreadsheets is an invitation to disaster. Understandably, it’s the go-to tool for organizing and tracking information. But it’s way too easy to make a mistake when using formulas,  accidentally putting the wrong data in the incorrect column or tempting catastrophe when copying and pasting a large chunk of data. Furthermore, it’s difficult to find errors and problems can ensue if errors in Excel aren’t caught in time.


What employees need is a system provides an easy way for data entry, intuitive tools for reporting and that performs complex data manipulation for you. Consider implantation and training on data visualization tools to easily generate reports without risking data corruption.


  1. Solutions that can handle the quirks of public sector


Public sector processes are unique. How you deal with public grants, encumbrances, complex budgeting procedures are subject to very detailed requirements. Governing bodies are highly specific in what data needs to be captured and how it is recorded. What you’re audited on is different from what is typical in the private sector. Not to mention certain rules dictate how to handle and maintain your technological platform and infrastructure.


Find an ERP system that has broad capabilities but can still handle the complexities of public sector processes. A system like this can integrate the needs of different departments, and still be able to respond to changing regulatory requirements.


Also, consider a secure cloud-based environment to allow you to scale up or scale down your data capacity needs. Additionally, the cloud gives your employees the ability to work from any location, enhancing productivity.


For more information on how Dynamics 365 can help you integrate all your processes in an intuitive system, read HSO's public sector factsheet.

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