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5 Key ERP Selection Criteria for Optimal Business Performance

Forgestik Team  |  April 21, 2022

5 essential ERP selection criteria

Wondering how to select an ERP system? Check out our list of top 5 ERP selection criteria to consider as you begin an ERP implementation project.

ERP is a software tool that’s at the heart of any smart business. Selecting the right ERP solution for your business is one of the most important decisions you will make. Here are some selection criteria you should keep in mind.

1. Business requirements

The right requirements are essential to choosing and implementing an ERP successfully. The ERP you eventually select will be made based on the requirements you define for your organization. All your conversations with ERP vendors will center around how well your requirements are met. Remember that some of the most important customers of the ERP system are the users in your own organization. Be sure those customers are satisfied! Form a team of people who will work to develop successful ERP requirements, create your requirements plan, find your pain points, make sure your requirements match your lean business model and make your requirements S.M.A.R.T.

2. Support

Support and training are the most important elements that get a system up and running and functional at all times. There’s a wide range of what vendors offer for support and training. A comprehensive training plan typically includes access to training videos and/or documentation, an online knowledgebase or user community and options for in-person training. Comprehensive support typically includes access to a call center as well as various online resources. What type of support and training does your business need? Consider the needs of the end-users. What sort of training will be the most convenient and effective for the end-users? Do you have an internal IT team that can assist with technical support? Will you rely entirely on external support?

Make sure users know they will have support throughout the process. In return, they will support your efforts to use and benefit from your new ERP.

3. Integration

Considerations associated with the integration of standalone ERP systems involve a host of complexities, and consequently, offer a host of ways to get it right. Most businesses considering an ERP selection have other systems that are adequate for their purpose. Those businesses are not interested in changing multiple systems along with their ERP. Here are the key elements to take into consideration: How will the existing systems integrate with the ERP? Can the ERP read and use the existing data in the other system or systems? How will you keep separately updated data information compatible? Will you be better served by changing the other systems, too? What integration tools come with the new ERP?

4. Budget

How much does it cost? Consider the total cost of ownership for the next decade, the implementation cost, the acquisition cost, the training and the update cost. Those numbers will help inform on your decision and provide you with everything you need to create a long-term picture of the situation. Evaluate the return on investment by counting the operational savings and improvement of sales. An ERP system should be a stepping-stone for your company, not a weight to carry around. Your ERP budget can vary based on business size. Resources, industry and company size are all factors you should include in your ERP selection criteria so you can find the right software.

5. Scalability

Good planning is the secret behind any good business. You need to know what direction you want your business to take. Consider how the technology fits with your business strategy both today and down the road. Evaluating product scalability requires you to look internally and into the future of your business. Will you need to add users in the future? Will you be adding new features or functionalities? Does your organization have the potential to expand into new markets? Consider whether the system can support your business strategy. Your ERP system needs to be able to grow with you. Whether your plans include growth, new markets or merging with another entity, the new technology you select should mesh with the strategic direction of your organization. Also, remember to choose an ERP provider that has a good record of accomplishment in keeping up with technology developments.

Experts to guide you

Grounded in hands-on experience and deep industry understanding, Forgestik brings together a team of experts to provide comprehensive ERP solutions for every SMB. Contact us to find out more.