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ERP system checklist: how to select an ERP system

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) plays an important role in making your company’s day-to-day tasks run as smoothly as possible, so choosing an ERP system is a significant step for any business. While ERP software selection criteria may seem daunting, you may not be able to take advantage of this impactful technology if you can’t understand what makes a certain system right for you. We’ve put together a simple guide for how to select an ERP system, giving you everything you need to make an informed decision.

What is an ERP system?

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a system used by companies to integrate different parts of the business. In a nutshell, it streamlines business processes and information across the entire company. With an ERP system, employees can access different platforms from one application, while information from different departments can also be shared more effectively, enabling easier collaboration and communication.  

How to choose the right ERP system

There are a wide range of factors to consider when choosing an ERP system, including functionality, support, and cost. Here are our top three tips on how to choose the right ERP system.

1. Review business needs and goals

Choosing an ERP system comes with a huge responsibility, as this system will be the main tool for your business. You should take into consideration what type of system is likely to work for your business both now and as the company expands. If your business is growing, remember that an ERP system will have to grow with it. While one ERP system may be ideal for your current needs, it may not be as effective once you expand to other countries or hire a large wave of employees. The main goal is simple: accommodate the present while making room for the future.

2. Consider customisation

Although standardisation is the aim, remember to consider how to customise the system. Keep in mind your business objectives and how your employees will need to use the system in practical terms. While ERP is often understood to be a business initiative, you will need to consider how the software will align with the system your business is currently using. There is a large amount of data that needs to be dealt with, so migrating from one system to another is likely to be a long process.

3. Plan your international business goals

Business is conducted on a global scale, and many companies are looking to expand their global reach. If your business’s current objectives have an international scope – or you have plans to move in that direction in the future – consider how your ERP system will fare in different local markets. For example, the ERP will need to account for different languages and currency. In addition, taxes need to be taken into consideration, as they apply differently depending on which country you are working with. Bottom line, choosing an ERP system for an international business requires a great deal of thought on how to present information to a large group of people in an effective way.

Bottom line

Getting your ERP system options and selection methods right can help your business run smoothly, ensuring tight integration between all the major business functions, including HR, sales, finance, and procurement. When you’re thinking about how to choose the right ERP system, pay attention to the specific needs of your business, both now and in the future.

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