Your mind’s made up. Now is the time to buy your very first ERP or replace one that’s long since seen better days. This is a big decision, one that will affect your business for years to come and has enough moving parts to make your head spin. So, you know you need to take things slow and do your research. If you’ve already begun your research, you’ve probably come across countless pages of Google search results filled with experts telling you what questions you must ask ERP vendors and implementation partners before you sign on the dotted line. Sure, this is useful advice. We even have a blog about it on our website and were part of the team that put together an enlightening e-book on the subject. But those questions aren’t the start of your ERP buying story, they’re the middle.
Have you stopped to think about the questions to ask yourself before buying ERP software? This is a critical step many people overlook. But when you do that, you’re doing yourself a grave disservice. Before you research which ERP might be best, you need to understand your needs and what you hope to gain from the software. Without that, it’s a little like taking a road trip to a place you’ve never visited, with no map or GPS. You might get there eventually, but there’s sure to be some wrong turns and difficulties along the way.
Questions to Ask Yourself before Buying ERP Software
So, to help you get started on the right foot, here are five crucial questions, straight from our ERP experts with nearly 30 years’ experience.
- Will I need help from an implementation partner to get my software up and running?
- Have I budgeted for (can I afford) not only the ERP software itself but also the complementary software I might need and future maintenance?
- Will my new ERP need to integrate with any of my existing software? If so, what information do I need to pass from one system to another? Note: it’s important to be specific here. You will probably need the help of your implementation partner to create and/or set these up. The more detail you can share from the beginning, the more likely the results will satisfy you.
- Does my IT team have the expertise to handle our ERP software updates or will we need the help of an outside consultant?
- Do I allow my staff to work remotely (or plan to do so in the next several years)? If I already have staff that works remotely, what part(s) of the system do they need to access on the go?
Want to dig deeper into these questions and see one more bonus question that I didn’t mention here?
If along the way, you struggle to define your needs or figure out which of your ERP options is best for your business, let us help.