A guide to choosing ERP software
Step 1: When Planning, Identify and Address the “Big Three” Topics:
PEOPLE. PROCESS. TECHNOLOGY.
Read enough articles about selecting and installing ERP software and you will find the words “people,” “process, and “technology” are used often, for good reason.
The terminology may change somewhat but the general message is normally the same. Experienced managers know successful software implementation involves effective project management which takes into consideration the key people involved (staff, customers, suppliers), business processes (existing and those required for future use) and technology (software, hardware, network and more).
Step 2: Document Your Requirements and Goals for the New Software
It is important to start by documenting your operations, taking into consideration the previously referenced people, process, and technology factors.
Once documented, you will have a starting point to begin evaluating ERP software and better understand how to approach using the new software within your business.
Terminology is also important to document as companies often use different terms within their operations. Common categories which are documented within this step include:
- Overall software requirements
- Complete list of reports including who uses them and how they are used
- Administration and security
- Connectivity/interactivity between departments and software applications
- Usage requirements such as for remote connectivity from outside the building
- Vendor requirements and available services such as planning assistance, hands-on-integration, training, post-installation support and software updates
- Project costs for hardware, software, training and support
Step 3: Manage the Process of Selecting ERP Software
Treat the selection and installation of ERP software like any other serious project. Key actions include:
- Define the project scope
- Document the specification requirements, especially as it relates to generating, accessing and creating data reports
- Assign the project manager and team members
- Decide on the decision-making process, including who has authority to represent the company
- when working with your software supplier/integrator
- Determine how project status will be tracked and reported including regular opportunities for communications
- Build a plan which provides for an appropriate level of flexibility including specifications and requirements
Henning Software will help you each step of the way from identifying and documenting needs to determining how software can best be fits to meet your business requirements.