The Decision to Purchase an ERP
Your company has grown, your needs have changed, and it’s been decided, it’s time to purchase a new ERP. Everyone’s on board with this purchase, but now what? Unfortunately, the decision is often rushed and the time isn’t taken to do a thorough business requirements analysis. This, and other poor planning, is what often leads to an ERP purchase that ends in disaster. Today, we’ll highlight potential points of failure and what to do to ensure your ERP purchase is a success.
A Successful ERP Purchase: What to Consider
Most people say they want “easy-to-use” software, but what is easy to use for one is not always for another. However, usability can be measured with thoroughly detailed requirements. For example, do you need to open a calendar from a date field? Do you want your text fields to have a spell-checking ability? Usability requirements for all departments and users should always be a part of the ERP selection preparation process.
Software and Business Evolution
The beauty of the cloud model is that it allows for the evolution of the product. As updates and bug fixes become available, they are typically automatically incorporated into the software. It’s important to consider the inevitable software evolution and your ERP implementation. Think about it, if you are evaluating different ERP products now, you will probably not go live for 10 to 24 months by the time you finalize the contract and actually implement. (Which by the way, is a big reason ArcherPoint adopted an Agile methodology.) Along with the software evolving, other business changes are inevitable from the time you purchase an ERP, implement it, and use it. Regulations will change. Your needs will change. Is your ERP vendor/partner is best aligned to help you meet your long-term strategic goals? You’ll need to ask yourself that, and ultimately, can your ERP evolve with you?
Total Cost of Ownership
Cost is almost always a factor when making a buying decision. But just as it is with other large purchases that you will have for a while, you need to look at your ERP purchase as an investment in your company’s future. You need to look at total cost of ownership before deciding on the right price. Of course the software itself costs money, but as you compare costs for different solutions don't forget about hardware, consulting dollars to implement, internal resources to maintain the software, and potential future upgrade costs.
It takes a lot of planning to select the best-fit ERP software for your particular needs, but that pre-planning will be rewarded with a minimum of pain and a superior ROI with a successful ERP purchase.