Enterprises today operate in a more competitive, unpredictable, and demanding business environment than ever before. In light of this, many companies turn to digital software to streamline their business processes, boost efficiency and productivity, and maintain an edge over their competitors. In particular, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software packages have emerged as some of the most customizable and all-inclusive solutions for companies seeking to optimize their back-end operations.
Rather than referring to a single program, ERP is a more general term used to describe a suite of digital applications that are designed to automate integral business functions and procedures. What features the system contains and what tasks it performs will vary according to the company’s needs and their chosen software, but examples of some routine operations ERP packages can help manage include inventory management, marketing, manufacturing, and more.
The highly customizable nature of ERP systems can be exciting, but it can also make the search for an ideal software package complicated or confusing. If you’re a business owner who’s currently looking for ERP software Philippines-based enterprises trust, the following guide can help you confidently navigate the available options and make the right choice.
Form a Dedicated ERP Research Team
At the start of your company’s ERP journey, it may be in your best interest to put together a team specifically for ERP research. This group of dedicated personnel will focus on determining your organization’s most pressing needs and identifying other important considerations for choosing an ERP package.
When creating your ERP research team, invite key personnel from as many major departments within the organization as possible. Some important areas to draw from include inventory, accounting, customer relationship management, finance, and human resources. Each department will have its own unique perspective to offer on the organization’s present and future needs, its strengths, and its pain points.
Identify Your Company’s ERP Needs
Your ERP research team’s first task should naturally be pinpointing the urgent company needs that your chosen software system needs to address. During brainstorming sessions and discussions, remember that it’s necessary to balance present challenges with longer-term, more future-oriented organizational needs.
While every company will have different concerns and reasons for employing ERP software, some common needs companies use ERP solutions to address include the following:
- Achieving more reliable and timely financial reporting
- Capturing and analyzing more data on important business areas such as procurement, production, and sales
- Improving employee productivity through intuitive and user-friendly software interfaces
- Automating day-to-day processes such as payments, sales, supply chain management, job costing, and others
- Enhancing mobile accessibility enables users in the field to access and work with the software in real time when necessary
Assess ERP Software Providers
ERP software providers are so plentiful in the marketplace today that you and your team might initially be overwhelmed trying to narrow down your options to the best two or three sources. To help you focus your search for the best possible providers, here are some important considerations you can bear in mind:
- Experience with your industry: You want an ERP provider that is widely used and well-regarded within your specific industry. This ensures that the software’s inbuilt features will align well with the tasks, functions, and procedures your company is seeking to manage or automate.
- Customizability: An ideal ERP solution can be personalized and integrated with additional modules or supplementary applications to better meet the specific organizational needs of your business.
- Compliance and reporting: It’s important to make sure that your chosen ERP system can support the specific compliance requirements dictated by your industry. It should also be able to access, download, and incorporate essential information on regulatory changes as soon as it becomes available to ensure that your organization’s reports are always fully compliant and up-to-date.
- Flexibility: It may also help you to think about how agile and flexible an organization must be to thrive in your particular industry. Ask yourself what specific software capabilities and features would help your company attain and sustain ideal levels of business agility.
Seek Guidance from Independent, Objective Sources
It’s in your best interest to consult a large variety of reputable sources over the course of your ERP research and to encourage your team to do the same. Besides doing internet-based research, consider asking other employees, colleagues, or contacts within your network about what systems they currently use or would recommend for your business.
If you’ve already narrowed your options down to a few providers, one useful trick is to ask them to connect you to a few of their former clients. That way, you’ll get the chance to validate whatever information you’ve gathered from sales representatives and promotional materials. Hearing about real people’s and organizations’ experiences with the software should give you a clearer idea about whether or not such a system would be a good fit for your own company.
Choosing and implementing an ERP system isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, as it’s a business initiative that has the potential to transform your enterprise from the ground up. Luckily, a systematic and focused approach can make this seemingly long and complicated selection process smooth sailing.