Build your ERP requirements checklist in 8 simple steps (short video included)

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When it comes to investing in the right ERP system, it’s essential to take a step back and focus on what your team really needs. Before you start shopping, it’s a good idea to create a requirements checklist. That way, you won’t end up wasting money on flashy features that have very little to do with your company’s goals. This blog shows you how to create that checklist in eight simple steps.  

1. Survey team and establish a list of business requirements 

 If you want to make sure that your ERP will work for your team, you need to define your business requirements. There is no one-size-fits-all checklist, and you will need to speak to employees at all levels of your company to get a feel for the right criteria.  

 2. Prioritize survey results and tier your list of requirements 

 Step one may result in a long list of ideas. Take this list and work with your team to establish what are the “must-haves”, “good to haves”, and “nice to haves”. Your list may have more tiers than this. The aim is to get a clear picture of the essential features required. 

3. Engage upper management in the process 

 Your list of business requirements should be one tool that will make it easy to show upper management the potential of the right system. Without their buy-in, you may end up getting a cheaper solution with less functionality that costs you in the long run. 

 4. Figure out integration with existing systems 

 Your new ERP should not interfere with the workflows and technologies your company already has in place. It should be possible to integrate the new system with your existing network of tools and processes. For example, if you’re already using Microsoft 365, it makes sense to opt for a compatible ERP.  

 5. Consider capabilities as you scale 

 Most likely, your company plans to scale, and as it grows, your systems need to manage that growth seamlessly. That means choosing a solution that will be as good for your company tomorrow as it will be today. 

 6. Set a realistic budget 

Deciding how much money is realistically available for an ERP system is crucial. This system will operate at the very heart of your business for at least a decade. Weigh up how much you’re going to spend, keeping in mind that training and integration are part of the expenditure you can expect. 

 7. Calculate the total cost of ownership and ROI 

 Once you establish a budget, it’s time to calculate your return on investment. Make sure these costs and benefits are spread over time so that you get a clearer picture. Once you know how much it will cost, you can start to think about the improvements and benefits of the system and calculate the money that can be saved.  

 8. Consider industry-specific solutions 

 Customizations can quickly add up and are often needed because when an ERP’s features are too general, they’re usually not fit for purpose. Ask yourself, is your company so unique that no other company has ever needed the same features? Although this is possible, it’s not likely. You should be able to find an ERP that has functionality specific to your industry.  

 We hope you found these eight steps helpful. Now that you know what to consider, it’s time to start building your checklist. If you’re interested in finding out more about how to approach each step, check out a comprehensive version of this blog here.  

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