Top 5 Tips You Should Know On How To Select ERP Software

Posted by Deltek on January 13, 2017

How to select ERP

The biggest issue with many traditional ERP solutions today is that they were developed for manufacturing and product based companies, meaning, they don’t work for project-based businesses. A Director of a European financial services consultancy explained it well when he said, “there’s a difference between using human resources and selling products. If you don’t use a product today you can put it on the shelf and sell it tomorrow. You can’t sell hours tomorrow. Being able to optimise resources can really make the difference”.

So with this in mind, what should project based businesses look out for when selecting an ERP? This blog will outline the top five points to consider when looking at which ERP solution to choose.

1. Define clear business goals

The first step is to ensure you have a clear understanding of what you’d like to achieve with your ERP solution. A good system will give you complete control, visibility and maximum efficiency across the board so it’s important to be thorough and consider all elements of the business – everything from decision making to cash flow, and staff utilisation to new business wins.

2. Involve all relevant stakeholders

Selecting an ERP solution is not something a manager or member of the c-suite can do on their own. It’s essential to get buy in from others in the business to ensure a smooth deployment for the solution and that you secure the anticipated returns in the long term.

3. Define your business requirements and workflows

Once you’ve established the goals for your ERP solution and the business is on board, it’s time to start thinking in detail about functionality. For the most part, project based businesses will be looking for a solution that provides granular detail from three sections – accounts, department and project.

For accounts, it’s about accuracy and transparency, understanding where every transaction is going and where it’s come from.

From a department perspective, it’s about supporting those working on the frontline so they have enough information to ensure their project is running to deadline and at cost.

Finally, the project section is the umbrella label for everything touched by this project. It’s where revenue and billing sits and essentially is the economic value hub for the business.

4. Look for a system which installs best practice throughout your business

Undoubtedly, improving productivity and profitability is at the top, if not near the top of your ERP wish list. Therefore, it’s important to choose a vendor with a proven track record. Someone who can be more than a supplier, but rather partner with you to support your goals and help the business succeed.

5. Agree realistic implementation expectations

No aspect of this selection process should be rushed and the same goes for the implementation of your ERP solution. It’s important to agree on a project timeline with your technology partner and also consider change management and staff training as part of the process.

Selecting an ERP solution can be stressful and it’s natural to be tentative to start with. However, using this ERP selection criteria checklist will mean that you and your business get the best possible solution and are best positioned to succeed.

If you’re interested in how other businesses choose their ERP solutions and would like to learn more please download our new whitepaper: Choosing The Right ERP Solution – Lessons Learned from the Industry