Four Essential Tips for Selecting and Implementing Your ERP
“We’ve got to use every piece of data and piece of information, and hopefully that will help us be accurate with our player evaluation. For us, that’s our life blood.” – Billy Beane
Before you can even start thinking about how to implement your ERP and who to get to oversee the implementation, you need to decide on which ERP is best for your company’s needs. As pointed out by Business-Software.com, “The ‘Best Overall’ doesn’t always cut it especially when you have specific industry requirements.” But selecting the right ERP software for your business is only half the battle. It doesn’t matter how great the ERP system is if it’s not implemented correctly. So we’re going to cover four essential tips for selecting and implementing your ERP.
Don’t let the publisher decide who will implement your ERP
“I have witnessed companies making the mistake of using publisher professional services with the belief that nobody knows the software better than the publisher. The belief is true, but the goal is not to make the business work for the software, but for the software to work for your business.
With the major publishers constantly in a feature function race, selecting the right ERP is 50% software and 50% implementation partner. Selecting the partner is a mix of software knowledge, industry expertise and cultural fit.” – Gary Feldman, 90 Minds
When considering who to actually do the implementation of your ERP software, there are several factors to take into consideration. I-tech Support has a very helpful article. In summary, you should ask yourself:
- Are they legitimate and established?
- Do they know your industry?
- What is their leadership structure and what are their values?
- Who is on their implementation team?
- What do their customers say?
Your ERP serves the business, not the other way around
When choosing an ERP system, you have many options. There are many factors you should take into consideration when choosing an ERP. Meaden & Moore have compiled a great checklist of questions to ask yourself before choosing your ERP:
- Determine what Tier ERP you need for your business
- Determine if you need an On-Premise or Cloud ERP system
- Develop a comprehensive list of ERP Requirements
- Identify possible ERP integrations
- Determine budget and resources
- Find out which ERP systems allow for future scalability
- Consider your business’ industry
ERP Focus has a very thorough list of nearly every ERP available from the most popular to the most specialized.
Hire an EXPERIENCED independent (3rd Party) pro in your ERP selection process (it WILL save you)
The new iPhone 15 Pro has a Super Retina XDR display, titanium back, A17 Pro chip, 6-core GPU, 48MP camera with 10x zoom, and up to 29 hours video playback battery life. The new Samsung S23 Ultra has a 5,000 mAh battery, up to 1 TB of storage, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen2 processor, 12 GB of RAM, a 200MP camera with 100X Space Zoom, and a 6.8” QHD+ screen. Do you feel confident in making a personal phone decision with those specs?
Similarly, choosing the right ERP can be overwhelming. Working with an independent 3rd party consultant could give you peace of mind in making the right decision. When I say independent, I mean not someone with with a vested interest in a particular product. You wouldn’t go directly to Apple and ask if you should get the iPhone or the Samsung. Their bias would be towards the iPhone.
Cumula 3 Group has a great article devoted to finding a consultant. The most important thing you’re looking for is someone who will take the time to understand you and your business. As you can see above, there are many ERPs that can help you in your manufacturing business, but is one of them better for you specifically? You want a consultant who will make a recommendation and also tell you why that product is best for you.
Manage your ERP implementation continuously (or hire someone who can)
Selecting the right ERP is only half the battle. Making sure the implementation is done correctly is crucial to the success of your business. Different departments will need different reports built out. You may have other software programs that need to work with your new ERP. There’s AP / AR / GL / Inventory / Shipping & Receiving and a whole myriad of other factors that need to be integrated and customized. There are a lot of ways this implementation can go wrong.
Like doing a major home renovation, you could do it yourself. You could hire a general contractor to do it for you. But how do you know you can trust the contractor to do the job you want? There are the obvious key questions you should be asking as you evaluate your options:
- How many implementations of this ERP have they done?
- How many have been in my industry?
- What is their communication style? Your contractor should have a way to communicate with you immediately for urgent things and on a regular cadence for project updates.
- Are they willing / able to come on site to get a better understanding of your business needs?
- Check what others are saying about them. You can ask for references, but that’s like asking a potential new employee for references. Do you really think they’re going to give you names of people who won’t give them a glowing review? Check their Google, Yelp, and Glassdoor ratings.
- Do they offer training?
Again, when doing your research, be careful. The majority of “tips for finding an ERP consultant” or “selecting an ERP consultant checklist” were all provided by ERP consulting companies. Most of whom are very reputable. However, you still run into the same issue as going to Samsung directly to decide between Samsung and iPhone. Once again, ERP Focus has a great article talking about selecting an ERP Consultant. Or, you can reach out to us at DyNexus. We are connected to many great consulting companies and we don’t have a bias. What we do have is a reputation for Integrity and Honesty. You can trust us to listen to your needs and give you solid recommendations to ensure your ERP implementation goes as smoothly as possible.