When you’re comparing ERP software solutions, there is a lot to think about and even the smallest oversight during product comparison can be extremely costly. In a previous article we discussed a few other important ERP software comparison factors, such as core components, the people and company behind the technology, price, and fit. In this article we touch on 5 more important places to take a closer look as you narrow down your choices and make your final decision.
Comparing ERP Software Solutions-Five Critical Areas to Consider
-Ease of use: the system will be used by many people, not all of them computer experts, will they be able to navigate the software? How many different screens are involved in completing some of your most important or most frequent tasks? One thing is for certain, the harder the system is to use the less likely users will be to adopt and use it which can hinder ROI and overall operations.
-Customization options and difficulty: No ERP system exists that will give you 100% of what you want or need to have, so customizations and extra work may be necessary. This is where flexibility it critical. Some systems will require long, expensive development work to add in the missing technology or features, while others are flexible enough to allow you to quickly plug in the missing technology with a few minor tweaks. This is an area often overlooked when comparing ERP software solutions, so be sure to evaluate this area carefully.
-Data migration: How will the data be taken from your current accounting/ERP system and plugged into the new one? This is an important question for potential vendors as you discuss their implementation process of the solution.
-Integration: How will the new system interact with the other systems and third party products you use? This is another often overlooked area that can severely impact your success with the product you choose.
-Return on Investment (ROI): You cannot talk about an ERP implementation without talking about ROI; but it’s hard to nail down. When you are comparing ERP solutions you will want to consider ROI not only in terms of the cost of the software, support, implementation, licenses, etc. but also the potential benefits you stand to recognize from each system you’re evaluating. While it may be difficult, Aberdeen Group suggests that, “companies gain the most benefits from their ERP solution if the possible return on investment (ROI) was identified before the start of the ERP project and measured continuously throughout the implementation process.”