Researching and evaluating the numerous options on the market to find the right fit can be a daunting task, but you can take a few steps to make it easier.
At DWD, we’ve helped a number of companies choose Enterprise Resource Planning systems that best fit their needs. Over the years, we’ve learned a few important lessons about the key areas to consider when evaluating new software for your business.
We want to share them with you to help you the next time you’re faced with this task. Below, you’ll find the five most important considerations when selecting your next business management solution.
5 Things to Consider When Evaluating ERP Software Solutions
1. Narrowing Down Your Business Program Needs
The first step you need to take before you begin evaluating programs is to sit down and create a list of must-have features and nice-to-have features. It’s important to identify features that are vital to your business so you can rest assured the selected system fulfills your most important needs.
If possible, enlist a partner to help you narrow down your must-haves to the absolute essentials and make sure you don’t miss anything. A partner will likely have a needs assessment document or process that can help you assemble and organize your lists. Once you have your personalized priority list, you are ready to evaluate other key considerations.
2. Selecting Business Management Software that is Easy to Use
Ease of use is one of the most important considerations when selecting a new business management software system. Even though you might find a business software package that boasts an extensive list of features, that doesn’t mean it’s the right program for you or your business. Sometimes the features are too complex, making it more difficult for you and your staff to use. Other features simply may be unnecessary.
Take the time to make sure the ERP system you select fits your day-to-day needs and is easy for you and your staff to learn. Software that’s tricky to use adds unnecessary challenges to your workday.
3. Buy a Customizable Business Management Program
Is the software you’re interested in customizable or adaptable? Because it’s unlikely that any business management program will fit your exact needs now and for the foreseeable future, it’s important to find out if it can be customized. These days, almost all accounting programs have the ability to customize minor report changes or changes to forms such as invoices and checks. However, not all business management software programs allow you to add fields you require to screens or change the way the program functions.
It’s inevitable that your business needs will change over time, and a customizable software system like Sage 100 ERP is more likely to adjust to those changing needs. A customizable program ensures you can adapt the software as necessary rather than continually needing to change business software programs as your business grows.
4. Evaluate Based off of Hardware Specifications
When evaluating ERP system software, keep in mind your hardware limitations. Before you begin, take note of the operating systems you’re running, the age of the computers, the amount of storage and any other relevant specifications.
As you examine different options, check the system’s specifications set by the developers that describe in detail the hardware required to run the application. Will the software program still run on your current setup? Depending on their age, your server or workstations may require hardware updates before you purchase new software.
5. Ensure that There’s System Stability
One of the final steps to take when evaluating an ERP system is to ensure the company is financially sound and committed to the product. Over the years, a number of software developers have gone out of business, leaving their customers without program upgrades or support. Protect your business investment by doing your research to determine whether the company is stable and reliable. You need access to support not only now, but into the future.
It’s not easy to find the perfect Enterprise Resource Planning software that meets every single one of your needs. However, taking into account the above considerations will make your search for a more positive experience and help you find the best solution for your business. To request a free software needs assessment, contact us today