Acumatica ERP is an excellent solution for many companies but looking for an ERP system isn’t something you do every day. In fact, according to a Mint Jutras study, the average of a corporate ERP system is 7.5 years. The team who chose your current ERP system is in different roles now or possibly moved on to another job; the needs your company had 7 ½ years ago are likely to be very different from the needs of today.
As you begin to shop for an ERP system, there are many things to consider. Cost, implementation, training, support, functionality … but these six criteria are some of the most important as you speak with software vendors.
Acumatica ERP offers a powerful solution for small to mid-sized companies. Their open platform enables many third-party vendors to create useful apps and extensions that bridge systems between Acumatica and productivity software, for instance, that creates a flexible, integrated solution that meets your business needs. When you take a closer look at Acumatica ERP as one of your possible choices, look for these six criteria. These are the things you can’t ignore during ERP implementation.
6 Criteria to Look for When Shopping for an ERP
You probably have a checklist in mind already for your company’s new ERP system. Perhaps you need it to work with a specific spreadsheet program, or you’re looking for a cloud-based system. Take a look at the following six suggested criteria and add them to your shopping list. When meeting with vendors, take this list with you and be sure to “check all the boxes” to ensure your new ERP system meets your company’s needs.
- User experience: User experience refers to the ease of navigation, appearance, and ability to personalize the system. Many vendors claim they’ve designed “beautiful” systems, but beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. What’s beautiful to one may be distracting to another. Focus on how well the navigation and ease of use meets your company’s needs. Consider creating a small team with people from different parts of the company and different job functions which will interact with the software daily to “test drive” the user experience and provide detailed feedback for comparison as you’re reviewing several systems.
- Industry-specific features: “Fit and functionality” are the buzzwords when examining industry-specific features. This is perhaps the most important component of software evaluation. How well does the software work for your industry-specific needs? In the past, it was acceptable to make concessions to get the best features even if the software didn’t fit your company’s needs 100%. Today, however, many software packages offer flexibility so you can mix and match features. Others, like Acumatica ERP, encourage third-party vendors to create add-ons so their base ERP communicates quickly with productivity packages, e-commerce software, and other software. Before meeting with ERP vendors, make a list of the industry-specific features you need. If you don’t see them at first glance, talk to the reseller about what’s required. It might be a simple API or a more complex connection to ensure you have the exact functions you need for your industry and company.
- Single end-to-end solution: As with fit and functionality, it’s essential that your ERP system offers complete end-to-end coverage for all functions you need. This isn’t an area to make big concessions, or you’ll end up paying more for additional products to fill the gaps.
- Affordability: Speaking of paying more, take a good look at the price tag for any ERP solution as well as any possible hidden fees. Read all the contracts and fine print. Some ERP solutions have hidden fees or even lock your data until you pay a fee if you want to change vendors at a later date. Cloud-based solutions can be very affordable but may not be the best fit for all companies. Run cost-benefit analysis for all software choices and weigh the pros and cons of each pricing plan before choosing one for your company.
- Integration capabilities: Some ERP companies lock you into using only their own branded line of products, while others encourage open APIs and shared code so third-party vendors can build out integrations. If integration isn’t relevant to you now, reconsider. It may become a vital business necessity next year. It’s always better to have options when it comes to choosing new software for your company.
- Reporting and analytics: Ask to see samples of the built-in reporting and analytics in the ERP systems under consideration. Can they be customized by role or by user? The basic reports found within the ERP might be the ones you will rely on for a while. Make sure they are useful and cover what you need and use the most.
Shopping for an ERP system should be done thoughtfully. With these six criteria, you can review the best ERP software and find the right package for your needs.
Emerald TC is an Acumatica reseller and welcomes the opportunity to share this exceptional software with you if you’re considering new ERP software For more information, contact us or call 678-456-6919.