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How to select ERP software

Updated: Jun 25, 2020

Step 1. Understand what you need

Before speaking to ERP software vendors, I highly recommend that you are very clear on your organisation’s unique requirements.Document your own business requirements, paying careful attention to your local and regulatory/legal needs. Many ERP vendors are global, and don’t necessarily cover the rules and regulations in your country. It is highly recommend you do this step independently - either do it yourself, or get the help of an independent 3rd party. NeuSwyft Software can help in this process as we have global team of consultants for this process. Don’t rely on ERP software vendors or partners, as they may have a biased point-of-view which could take you in the wrong direction.

Step 2. Choosing the right ERP software

There are two main options when selecting ERP software:

  1. Start with a base ERP package, and customize it to your needs. This gives you more choice, but is often a time consuming and expensive process. For medium-sized organisations, this may take a year or more.

  2. Select an ERP software package that supports your industry (vertical). You can probably find software that meets up to 90-95% of your requirements, needing 5-10% additional customization. This can get you up and running faster, however be aware your final solution may be less flexible as your business grows.

All vendors - such as Infor, SAP and Oracle - offer a flexible ERP solution with hundreds of different base configurations. You can select the right base and package as a starting point, which will be geared towards your particular industry. They claim that these provide “best-practice” (although it doesn’t mean it’s the right way for your business to operate). While these do help you get your project completed faster, they can make the solution less flexible.

When selecting an ERP vendor, make sure you consider which partner you will be working with.

Step 3. Choosing the right partner

Most ERP vendors sell their products through local partners. The local partner will help with implementation, configuration and support. Choosing the right ERP software partner is just as important as choosing the right ERP software vendor. Look for the following:

  1. Availability of resources: Not only during the project, but for ongoing support. This is a large problem for many ERP software vendors.

  2. Cost and support times: Ask if resources they provide can work in 24 hour cycle and have 24 hour availability for critical support issues.

  3. Well documented and high-quality customization: Often, the localisation or customization work is a poorer quality than the base ERP system. Ask if they follow any architecture framework or methodology for implementations.

  4. Incentive for good support after go-live: Expect that there will be ongoing optimization work, and make sure that you both agree how this will operate upfront.

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