Deciding when to take the leap and upgrade software as robust as an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system isn’t done overnight. It takes a lot of time and research to ensure you select the right ERP option for your business to transform your operations and help you make efficient, data-driven decisions.
If you think your organization’s ERP software needs an upgrade but are unsure how to best proceed with making your goal a reality, there are some significant decisions you can make beforehand that can assist with the implementation process. Following are a few crucial things to think about before you purchase new ERP software.
What new features and functionality are you looking for?
Before you jump into implementing new software, it’s important to understand the extent of the new system’s capabilities and which features are needs versus wants. Modern ERP systems have a wide array of functions to meet the needs of numerous industries. You should start by documenting the flow of processes and data within and between operational areas. Next, within that documentation, identify shortcomings or inefficiencies as potential opportunities for improvement.
By prioritizing the features your organization will use and creating a scope around those priorities, you can help narrow in on which ERP software makes the most sense for your organization and set phases for your implementation plan. That way, when it’s time to begin the software transition, you know which functions you need implemented first and which functions can be held off for a later phase.
Do you plan to implement the software in-house or use a provider?
If your organization has the resources and personnel to pull together a project team, you may consider implementing a new ERP software in-house. Benefits of using an in-house team include having a full line of sight on project progress and more control of timeline and budget.
Many organizations may not have the headcount or time to dedicate to a project the size of system implementation. If that sounds like your organization, you can partner with software implementation providers who can offer their own resources and expertise to streamline the implementation process. By using a provider, you can focus on running your business while the provider ensures all the steps and transitional components required for system implementation are progressing smoothly.
Most ERP systems are cloud based in today’s market landscape. Cloud-based ERP systems offer a variety of benefits, such as potential cost savings, increased flexibility and greater ease of use. Consider these additional items for help determining whether your organization is ready to move to a particular software:
- What data compliance do you require? Standards such as PCI or HIPPA compliance may automatically rule out some system options.
- What integrations or third-party vendors are available to fill any gaps in the system? Are there prebuilt connectors available in the marketplace that fulfill the requirement? Does the software package have open application programming interfaces (APIs) that will allow for custom development in order to connect to other systems?
We’re Here to Help
At Creative Planning Business Services, we partner with clients to implement NetSuite, an industry-leading enterprise software that can streamline your operations and boost productivity. We’d be happy to collaborate with you on your next implementation project or assist you with any questions you have regarding upgrading your current ERP software. Schedule a meeting with our team today to learn more about our enterprise solution services.