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How to choose the right ERP system

Choosing the right ERP system for your company is hugely important. Regardless of the size of your company the investment in this system has to be made wisely.

The rewards for choosing the right one can be felt for decades to come. On the other hand making a mistake can be extremely costly.

As such here are six points that need to be considered before signing on the dotted line:

Determine your reasons and objectives

  • Talk to people! This should not be undervalued, it is hugely important to fully understand your company at the best of times. Now is a great time to go into more detail. Discuss, debate and focus on where you can find opportunities to improve. Take the time to create an in house requirements list. It’s a great platform to start from.

Scrutinise the company strategy and establish the requirements

  • Consider the company strategy, not just an overview but for your departments too. An ERP system is a piece of software that on average stays in place for seven years. Take this into account and where you can include your long term strategy in the decision process.

Scrutinise cost effectiveness – capital expenditure budgeting

  • This is an obvious point. Work out the ROI and how long this will take. You will also need to consider those factors that aren’t easy to measure such as transparency, flexibility and employee satisfaction.

erp-selection-guide

Determine the required functionality and level of Specialisation

  • How dynamic and flexible must the software be? Consider the pros and cons of industry specific software compared to a more flexible and generic software. Both will have their pros and cons.
  • A more specialist, well established and constant company will usually need more industry specific software where as a more dynamic, flexible or international company may go for something more generic and all encompassing.
  • Most significantly talk to the main users of the system. They will know more than management.

Architecture check

  • All approaches have their pros and cons. This is the time to consult your IT department. Compare and contrast the current set up with the potential set up. In particular think about independence, security, flexibility, openness, initial outlay and operating costs.

Evaluate soft factors

  • When comparing two competing systems sometimes the cost and the characteristics will be very similar. This is the time to look at the soft factors; the design, the ease of use, the consistency with previous systems.

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Ultimately, these are all important, some more than others but all should be considered. You can find out far more by clicking on the white paper link above.

Take your time and consider all the factors. Getting the right ERP system could make all the difference in taking your business forward.
Michael Bulman

Sage enthusiast and Acuity advocate.