Must Ask Questions for ERP Evaluation

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BroadPoint is here to provide you with decades of expertise when it comes to evaluating a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. The goal is to narrow down the solutions that best fit your organization’s requirements in a more streamlined fashion. Here is some food for thought to get you started:

Which industry best describes your company?

All companies have a common set of needs and requirements when it comes to general business operations. However, not just any accounting system will suffice if your company has more specific needs. Each ERP will align better with specific industries or ‘verticals’, allowing the ERP to meet a high percentage of needs and requirements for that industry. Knowing your company’s industry can help expedite the selection of potential ERP solutions, narrowing the field to only what is relevant to your needs. 

Which type of deployment is your company interested in?

Some ERP systems are only offered as “cloud” solutions, where all you need is a service subscription to be on your way. Other ERP systems are legacy systems, which involve hardware that the company needs to own, manage and maintain.

A rare few ERP systems offer a true choice in deployment options, so understanding your company’s preference for the deployment method will also narrow the range of ERP systems to be considered.

Are you replacing financials or implementing a full ERP system?

Where accounting systems are focused on balancing debits and credits, and producing financial statements, ERP systems offer a much broader range of sub-systems and functions. These can include functions for human resources and payroll, budgets and forecasts, CRM and more.

It is important to ask how broad the vision for your project is for the company. Will this be a surgical act in the Accounting department, or a wholesale re-ordering of the company?

Will you be offering Employee Self-Service capabilities for Human Resources?

When implementing an ERP system, it is important to take into consideration how your employees will (or will not) utilize the system.

Functions such as updating personal information like addresses, adding new dependents, or adding or modifying benefits and deductions can be opened to the employee via a web-portal, or held as a managed activity within the human resources department.

Are you looking to implement a sales force automation system?

Unlike most standard accounting systems, ERP systems can be far more pro-active when it comes to integrating a sales force automation system.

Tools such as automation and workflows can help your sales team work more efficiently. This in turn can lead to a more productive system, increased customer satisfaction and loyalty and fewer overall system errors.

How many employees do you have at the location where you will implement the ERP solution?

It is important to note that many ERP systems operate using “user licenses”, offering various levels of access to reports and records.

As such, knowing how many employees will need to utilize your system and assigning them a range of access, from full access to limited access such as “read-only”, is essential when planning to implement an ERP system.

Are you planning on implementing your ERP solution internationally?

Companies that operate across multiple nations come with a completely new set of challenges compared to those that operate domestically.

From taxation and reporting requirements to foreign exchange policies, there are many more variables to consider when selecting an ERP service. Not all ERPs come with the specific features to accommodate international business, so ERP options may be limited as a result.

How large is your company?

Knowing the size of your company helps identify the overall scope of an ERP implementation project, including how long it may take and how complex the process may be.

For instance, smaller companies with a single location may be well suited to an on-premise solution where everything is managed in-house. A larger company, on the other hand, may be best served by a cloud-deployment with web-access for their large employee base across multiple locations.

For help with ERP evaluation and implementation, contact BroadPoint Inc.’s Microsoft gold-certified consulting team today.

Zach Volpicelli