6 Important Considerations for Manufacturing ERP Selection

ERP systems are an integral part of streamlining operations and managing complicated supply chains to make manufacturing organizations more sustainable, profitable, and competitive. But the difference between success and failure starts at the very beginning during manufacturing ERP system selection. Here are 6 things to consider to ensure your ERP selection gives you a system that is robust and flexible enough to meet your needs both now and in the future.

1. “Suck it in” does not apply here

The best thing you can do is find a solution with proven success in your industry. “Sucking it in” and forcing something to fit does not work when it comes to manufacturing ERP selection. You’ll pay for it later if you try it that way. Look at your list of industry challenges and your specific challenges- does the potential new system have the features and functionality to help you overcome those challenges to help you attain your goals? If it doesn’t, take your time and find one that does. Of course no system will do absolutely everything you want it to…but there is one out there that can handle your most important requirements and mandates.

2. Make sure your IT department is on board

Ensure that your new system will fit in with your IT team’s technology strategy. The best way to do this is by making them a part of the project from the early stages of planning and selection. Servers, databases, security, and safety are all extremely important factors in an ERP system and nobody knows those things better than your IT employees.

3. Look for specific manufacturing ERP functionality

When it comes to manufacturing, software functionality is among the most important factors to evaluate during selection. What is your industry focus? Are you a process manufacturer? Discrete? Mixed-mode? Each category has its own list of requirements in terms of software functionality, be sure your new ERP system fits your industry focus and requirements.

4. Cloud vs premise ERP– which suites you?

While manufacturers are seeing great success with cloud ERP, the cloud is not for everyone. Yes, the cloud will provide some very impressive cost efficiencies, but it is important to take a step back from all of the cloud talk and really look at whether or not it will fit your organization.

5. Vendor selection is just as important as software selection

We have entire blogs dedicated to this topic so we’ll keep it short. Selecting the right manufacturing ERP vendor is just as important as choosing your software…in some cases it is more important. Be sure your vendor has specific experience in your industry and that they are open to discussing it. Make sure reference checking is a large part of your selection process.

6. Don’t forget about TCO

Many ERP projects are considered a failure because they go way beyond original budget plans. When you’re making up your budget and considering your manufacturing ERP options, always be sure to look at the forest, not just the tree. TCO will include the following:

  • Cost of software
  • per user license costs
  • training
  • maintenance
  • customization
  • upgrades
  • internal costs
  • system enhancement
  • additional sites
  • additional modules
  • and more

Contact us for more on how to select the right ERP system for your specific operation.This white paper will walk you through six of the biggest mistakes you can make in your ERP decision process and show you how you can avert them. Read more here.

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