ERP selection. Before you choose a new system you must fit many pieces into a very large puzzle. It can feel like one of those monochrome puzzles that look nearly impossible to solve. The good news is that it is not that bad. If you put the right pieces together first, a picture will start to emerge and the choices narrow to the systems that will truly serve your company well. So, the question becomes what puzzle pieces do you need in place first?
I will admit it: I don’t really care for posts that advertise “that one thing you must do…for (you name it)” because it is never that simple. ERP selection is certainly no exception. Company leadership needs to be on board. There is extensive planning and organizing to do throughout the organization. You must ensure that your internal resources are prepared and on board to do their part. You must allot the time needed to focus on the project successfully. You need to prepare the company for change, which often requires a cultural shift — either large or small. And that’s just a sampling of vital business requirements for a successful ERP transformation.
However, there is one very important piece that must be in place before you work on the rest of that puzzle, and that is why I feel justified in the ‘most important…’ claim. So here it is: Decide and design your company’s strategy for the future not just for now. This, with its accompanying goals, will help you determine which ERP systems to even consider in order for that strategy to come to fruition. Once you have clarified where you want to go into the future, you can drive decisions toward selecting the right ERP for your business.
Many companies rely on antiquated ERP systems that require a lot of wasted time and resources because of manual processes. That alone is an excellent reason to update your ERP. But if that is your only goal, then you are missing one of the most critical opportunities available to your organization.
ERP systems today are not the systems of yesteryear – or even a few years ago. The opportunities available today are substantially improved. Most also have an expanded system lifespan making your strategy for the future even more critical. The opportunity to be truly agile and flexible in the right way for your business can be your key to a competitive future. If you are slow to react to a market that is changing at the speed of light, you’re in trouble. If you can react quickly, on the other hand, opportunities abound. The right ERP selection can help you make that happen.
So, what is your company strategy for the future? Where do you want your company to go and what does it need to be able to do to get there? Establish this future state plan and you will be well on your way to finding – and properly utilizing – the best ERP system for your company.