Imagine a world where all your employees, whether in accounting, customer service or manufacturing, can access and edit your business data in real time, making business process management a breeze.
No need for you to painstakingly track customer orders and your suppliers manually before talking to manufacturing. Once a team member enters data into the ERP (enterprise resource planning) system, it’s there for everyone to use, from your human resource department to project management and accounting.
Now, think of all the time your employees currently spend hunting down business data during customer and management meetings or even financial audits. How much would your enterprise save? That’s what the best ERP systems can do for you.
How Does ERP Software Help Your Business, and Why Should You Care?
While ERP implementation always comes with an initial investment and a learning curve, it can help you streamline each and every business process.
This not only reduces friction in your operations, inventory and supply chain, but the best ERP software also eliminates manual and often redundant data entry across your business and its multiple systems. That way, you’ll always have access to the most recent business intelligence — no matter if you’re trying to track a recent complaint in your order management tool or gathering accounting details about a supplier.
With the right ERP system, you can enhance your operational efficiency and improve collaboration throughout your organization, allowing you to reduce costs through supply chain management, regulatory compliance and inventory management.
Thanks to organization-wide transparency, you’ll make more informed decisions and become a more valuable business partner.
It’s good to keep in mind, though, that you should establish expectations before making any changes. If you’ve reviewed your business processes, done your internal research and identified pain points in each department, it’s much easier to find the right solution.
How To Choose the Best ERP System To Serve Your Business Needs
Faced with a market that offers very similar solutions that fit in numerous industries, finding the right ERP vendor for your business intelligence can be challenging. If you’re running a small business, a certain ERP tool might not even make financial sense. Perhaps you’re considering an upgrade because your Dynamics GP system will no longer be supported.
According to G2 and our decades of experience, these six solutions are pretty typical choices that usually fit the needs of most midmarket companies best:
– Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central
– Sage Intacct
– Oracle NetSuite
– JD Edwards EnterpriseOne
– SAP Business One
Whether you’re looking at NetSuite ERP solutions, Microsoft Dynamics or yet another option, the feature list always overlaps in large parts. We can’t blankly state whether SAP ERP solutions are “better,” because your software needs to be better for your business.
So usually, it’s best to assess your current pain points and business intelligence challenges as well as your organizational goals. Consider everything from manufacturing and order management to legacy software or specifics of your supply chain.
Your solution, or the ERP module complementing it, should be able to scale with your business, and it should also be tailored to the core segments of your business.
The choice between two similar ERP platforms might come down to personal preference, but your future system should at least support your core business. A specialized manufacturing ERP solution will offer more bells and whistles for order management and inventory tracking than a general-purpose solution.
Choosing the right ERP software vendor is never about one feature. You need to consider a range of needs to map your business requirements matrix with as much detail as possible. For some enterprises, the hardware to support the software will strongly influence that decision unless you decide to embrace the cloud. Others will care more about their cloud ERP platform’s reputation or financial management than local support.
Of course, you want your ERP tool to cover your core business requirements, like accounting, project management, inventory management and/or customer relationship management. But for a final decision, you need to translate your most important needs into features, which may require an objective perspective from the outside.
If you have trouble finding the right feature set for your business goals, it may be best to look for an independent ERP consultant with a track record of helping organizations with ERP selection projects. They will respect your unique needs and guard you throughout the process of selecting the best ERP software solution for your organization.
With so many of the features of ERP solutions being so similar across solutions, choosing the right ERP consulting, development and implementation partner is even more important than deciding if you want a solution created by Microsoft, Sage, NetSuite, Sage, Acumatica or SAP. Look for a partner with a similar culture, stable business model and experience in multiple industries — especially your own. It is best to choose a partner small enough to know you on a personal level as well as being large enough to serve your organization’s specific needs.
Help Your Team Transition To Make the Most of Your ERP Solution
To ensure that your ERP system can really streamline your project management, it’s important that you make time for the proper user training and give your team the opportunity to overcome any reservations. You know your own team best, so try to plan accordingly if certain departments need more support during the new ERP solution’s rollout.
If your human resource department is the only one that needs to migrate data from legacy systems to the new solution, and if your sales reps hesitate to rely on the new solution, maybe you can help them with additional training, even though the warehouse team doesn’t need it.
For a smooth transition, you want to avoid frustration with the new ERP solution wherever possible. The seamless migration of legacy systems data is only the first half of that equation. It’s also critical that you support your team continuously so that minor frustrations don’t lead to the assumption that the new system means a step back for themselves.
Understand that trusting automated and new business processes often requires a mind change, and that can demand a lot from your team if they had to rely on several inconsistent but familiar systems in the past. Remember that they want to do a good job, so if they hesitate to trust the new system, they may need more training and hands-on experience before the new system goes live.
Once they recognize the tangible value, they’ll happily trust your new ERP system. However, for your new solution to actually save you money, it’s crucial that your team trusts those features and doesn’t try to continue working manually and around the system.
Here at The TM Group, we want to empower enterprises and their employees with technology. Technology that doesn’t contribute to reaching your organization’s goals doesn’t serve ours either.
If you’d like to learn more about how ERP systems can benefit your business, get in touch with our team!