Evaluating ERP Systems? Pick a Solution That Goes Beyond Traditional ERP
If you’re like a lot of businesses today, your current systems are nudging you further and further out of your comfort zone. They get the basic job done, as long as nothing out of the ordinary happens. But what will happen when you want to open a new store or warehouse, expand to new markets, or add an additional line of business? Do you find it harder to connect with suppliers and customers, comply with new tax laws or environmental regulations, or keep customers loyal with the new competition you face in a global economy? These scenarios aren’t business as usual, but they’re part of the new normal. And if it’s getting harder for your existing systems to keep your business moving forward, now’s the time to take action.
As you consider and weigh the alternatives, you’ll find products and vendors that sound a lot alike, and you may find it hard to differentiate between them. So we’ve created a 10-point checklist to help you test their claims and reduce the risk of making a decision you might regret down the road. Each week for the next 10 weeks, we’ll drill into one part of the checklist, so when we finish you’ll have a comprehensive list of key factors you should consider before deciding on a new option for your business. This week we start the process by urging you to look at whether a solution delivers more than entry-level accounting software or stand-alone business management systems.
ERP Evaluation Checklist
Requirement # 1 - Solution Goes Beyond Traditional ERP
You’re sure to find several vendors that offer improved financial reporting, inventory management, budgeting capabilities, and so forth. But do they offer a unified solution that goes beyond business process automation and basic ERP (enterprise resource planning) functionality to deliver a complete and unified vision for your business?
A comprehensive and modern solution delivers capabilities that are out of scope for many product offerings, such as:
Integrated business intelligence, collaboration, and communication tools that span your core business processes.
A user experience that blends personal and work computing and inspires your people and your customers.
Anytime, anywhere access to make your people more productive.
Flexible cloud or on-premises deployment options that won’t hold your data hostage.
Affordable pricing models to reduce or eliminate up-front capital expenditures.
So here’s your first checklist take-away: Make sure you can mark the box indicating that the solution you choose can take you beyond business as usual.
Why Choose an ERP Solution from Microsoft?
Microsoft delivers a comprehensive vision for SMBs that goes beyond traditional ERP and stand-alone accounting software. For example, business intelligence, collaboration, and communication capabilities are embedded across your business processes, so your people can quickly and easily find and analyze information, collaborate with each other to generate the best ideas and decisions, and communicate regardless of their locations or the devices they’re using. A consistent user experience supports rapid adoption, ease of use, and end-user productivity. Consumer-driven technologies such as chat, presence, and action panes have been incorporated into Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions, setting the standard for great user experiences. Flexible deployment models—on-premises or in the cloud—let you make the decision on what’s best for your business, and rapid implementation tools help you get up and running quickly. And finally, Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions offer online or traditional desktop access, enabling anytime, anywhere productivity.
Microsoft Client Success Story: Amalfi Semiconductor
SMBs around the world, in a wide variety of industries, rely on Microsoft Dynamics to help them achieve profitable growth through greater operational control, improved employee productivity, and deeper business insight. Here’s a snapshot of how one high-tech manufacturing customer implemented Microsoft Dynamics ERP in just six weeks.
- Physical inventory/vendor invoice matching.
- Accurate inventory cost, billing, order backlog information.
- Time-consuming period-close processes with significant manual components.
- International finance and consolidation management.
- Purchase order inconsistencies.
- No self-service management reporting.
- $75,000 cost savings: vendor overbilling avoidance.
- Quarter closing report prep speed-up: 1 week to 1 hour.
- Consolidation: process time reduction from 1 day to 5 minutes.
- Customized reporting: deeper insight, tighter control.
- Increased productivity.
Next week, we’ll take a deeper look at the second item on the ERP evaluation checklist: Deployment Flexibility - The ability of your new solution to take advantage of the Cloud and to support the deployment model that makes the most sense for your business.
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