Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software offers the benefits of streamlined and integrated business processes, lower cost of operation, improved reporting capabilities, data security and increased productivity. With multiple benefits brought about by an efficient ERP system, the process of selecting the right system that can help support your organization’s needs can at times be daunting.
To help increase the odds of choosing the right ERP software, below is an ERP selection tip sheet that outlines key steps for selecting the right ERP software.
1. Know and prioritize your software requirements
- Start by identifying what challenges you want to solve and what your current system is unable to do for you. It’s best to divide the list into features that are must-haves and nice-to-haves. The more specific you can be about your software requirements, the better. As an article from Software Advice notes: “by knowing what you need, you’ll be in a better position to control the selection process, rather than let software vendors dictate your needs.”
2. Carefully evaluate your options before deciding on an ERP system
- It’s important to consult management and key stakeholders and ask them for their input in the evaluation phase. It’s also worth considering how the systems you’ve shortlisted affect integration with your existing office systems, the ERP system’s reporting capabilities and metrics.
3. Build a short list of software vendors
- Determine which vendors best serve your industry, requirements and budget. Remember that it’s best to list five or fewer vendors and products to evaluate.
4. Closely evaluate live software demos
- Start by preparing brief demo scripts that detail specific workflows that you want to evaluate in the demo. After each demo, meet with your team to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the demo and compare notes.
5. Compare prices
- Once you’ve narrowed down your list of vendors, you can now ask the vendors for a detailed price quote and compare in terms of what vendors will offer with support, training, third-party hardware and pricing models.
6. Get references from vendors
- Ask the vendor you’ve chosen for a reference that shares a similar business need and size. When talking to the reference, don’t hesitate to ask about challenges that they faced with the system and how the vendor was able to address issues.
- Given all of the information that you’ve gathered from the process, decide if the vendor and ERP system is the right fit for your organization. Ensure that all the agreements and requirements that must be fulfilled are noted in writing from the vendor.
Linz Tan, Web Marketing Assistant, WebSan Solutions Inc., a 2014 Ontario Business Achievement Award Winner for Service Excellence
Implementing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software and projects are no easy tasks. With many moving parts and personnel involved in the mix, the process becomes all the more daunting. To help avoid common pitfalls and offer some considerations, Software Advice, a trusted resource and advisory firm for ERP software buyers, recently conducted an analysis of 22 failed implementation projects and looked into the most common reasons for failure in this e-book.
The e-book notes that ERP implementation failure can often be attributed when one or more of the following key goals are not met:
- On-time implementation
- On- or under-budget implementation costs
- Minimal disruption to business operations
- Improved organizational efficiency
- Reduced operating costs
- Increased sales or revenue
One main takeaway from these is that “ERP implementation rarely fails because of the software itself,” as only 18 percent of the failures included in the study were due to buggy software.
To avoid implementation failure, it’s best if the organization take the time to do due diligence and fully research the ERP system, have personnel, particularly consultants completely understand the client’s needs and have a trusted vendor give you a realistic view of the system’s capabilities.
Implementing an ERP solution takes time, so it’s worthwhile to test drive the software and plan ahead for your IT team to prepare for the implementation and additional customizations and decisions that may need to be made at a later date.
Forrest Burnson, Software Advice’s Market Research Associate puts it best: “Regardless of the platform you select, the principles of a proper implementation remain the same: Know what you need and know what you're buying; get buy-in from all of the relevant stakeholders in your organization; make sure to actively involve your IT team in the implementation and listen to their concerns; understand that the software alone will not fix your business's problems—often your business will have to adapt to the software, not the other way around.”
To learn more about how WebSan Solutions can help your ERP implementation process, download our free ERP Whitepaper or take our ERP Assessment.
Linz Tan, Web Marketing Assistant, WebSan Solutions Inc. a 2014 Ontario Business Achievement Award Winner for Service Excellence
Purchasing ERP software is a major investment for any organization as it is one of the most important technologies used to manage business functions and processes. For an organization to determine if they are optimizing their ERP software’s capabilities, taking an ERP Assessment will prove to be extremely useful.
An ERP Assessment is used to evaluate the capabilities of an organization’s current ERP system. A valuable ERP Assessment will help determine whether an organization’s team is equipped with the tools and information it needs to function effectively and find out whether or not the organization’s ERP system is meeting the business’s needs.
An ERP Assessment will look into different aspects of the organization, such as system integration, quality of received data, use of Microsoft Excel, budget, and dependence on paper forms and templates.
Understanding how an organization utilizes their ERP system will provide insight into possible opportunities, potential risks, and areas that require improvement.
Take our free ERP Assessment and learn how you can best leverage your ERP software. When you take our free ERP Assessment, you will gain access to our free Dynamics GP and CRM demos and an ERP whitepaper!
Linz Tan, Web Marketing Assistant, WebSan Solutions Inc. a 2014 Ontario Business Achievement Award Winner for Service Excellence.
An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system helps integrate processes which are essential to a business, including accounting, inventory, order management, human resources, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Today, an increasing number of both big and small to mid-sized organizations use ERP software to help streamline processes and information across the organization and integrate these functions into a single, complete system.
Software Advice, a trusted resource and advisory firm for software buyers recently conducted a study that analyzed the purchasing behaviour and implementation concerns of 250 prospective ERP software buyers. The study reveals that 54 percent of current ERP users are dissatisfied with their systems’ integration capabilities—this is one of the main reasons why many are seeking out a new ERP system.
ERP Implementation and Support
The study notes that 24 percent of buyers want to replace their current ERP software due to a lack of technical support. Forrest Burnson, the study’s main researcher, says, "It's critical for firms to carefully assess how capable they are in selecting and implementing a new ERP system. All too often there is a disconnect between a firm's expectations and what the vendor will actually provide in terms of implementation services and continued support. As ERP systems are significant investments, it is wise for prospective buyers to seek the help of a third party consulting firm if they're unable to do all of the due diligence in-house to ensure that the selection and implementation processes go smoothly.”
What WebSan Solutions Can Offer
Implementing an ERP system that caters to a business’ needs and budget is no easy task. Along with a system that is fully functional, organizations should seek a cost-effective support service to ensure that the system runs smoothly and effectively.
As the study further details, an ERP system has a life cycle of 10 years or more, making it more critical that businesses ensure that their ERP system grows and scales according to their business’ immediate and future needs.
WebSan Solutions offers Microsoft Dynamics GP implementation along with valuable resources like training, free webinars and outstanding support. We believe in offering professional, practical advice that is customized to help businesses achieve long term growth.
See how WebSan Solutions can help your business meet its ERP needs – download our FREE Microsoft Dynamics GP Demo today!
Linz Tan, Web Marketing Assistant, WebSan Solutions Inc. a 2014 Ontario Business Achievement Award Winner for Service Excellence
Today Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERPs) are developed and implemented so fast that it is hard to keep up with all this surplus of information. What is more, companies should make sure that during and after the implementation, all employees must be adequately trained on the system’s capabilities.
Using technology to facilitate this process is an essential technique to minimize costs and improve its effectiveness. Instead of buying expensive classroom training courses, nowadays you can easily buy e – learning courses that will save the company money, time and a lot of effort. Below you will find some of the benefits that e –Training will bring to your organization:
- Combine theory and practice by applying your knowledge in real – time.
- A fun and interactive way to understand complicated software, such as ERP.
- Test your knowledge by completing online quizzes.
- Learn on your own pace.
- More affordable than classroom training.
WebSan Solutions offers a comprehensive e - Training solution for Microsoft Dynamics GP through WebSan University. Videos, tests and a lot more of interactive documentation help you understand and apply procedures easily in the convenience of your own time and place. You can also choose between a variety of courses for both beginners and advanced users. You can even setup your company’s unique course catalogue customized to your specific needs.
Doriana Kote, Marketing Assistant, WebSan Solutions Inc., a Channel Elite Awards Winner for 2013
Did you know you can receive up to $100K in government funding through IRAP Digital Technology Adoption Pilot Program(DTAPP)?
DTAPP is a component of the Government of Canada’s overall strategy to boost the productivity of small and medium – sized enterprises (SMEs) and improve Canada’s digital economy. The contribution acts a cost sharing mechanism and will be applicable to the expenses associated with the analysis, implementation and customization of new software or the direct labor and consulting components of implementing new digital technologies. If your proposal is accepted by the program, the government will also provide up to 80% of the payroll costs and 75% of the applicable sub-contractors fees for a project up to $100k contribution.
To be eligible for DTAPP services or funding, your firm must:
- have 500 employees or less
- be incorporated, for-profit and operate in Canada
- be growth oriented
- demonstrate plans to carry out a project designed to adopt digital technologies
WebSan Solutions Inc. will work with you and your company to find the best small-medium enterprise solution that will help your business grow and become more efficient. If you are considering implementing a new ERP project, contact us to learn more about the IRAP DTAPP funding opportunity.
Doriana Kote, Marketing Assistant, WebSan Solutions Inc.
Organizations across all industries are increasingly looking to the cloud as a way to help boost their productivity, revenues, returns on technology investments and customer satisfaction. It is important to realize that cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are not easier to implement or use than on-premise systems. However, when implemented properly, cloud ERP system software can save organizations a lot of money. These cost savings come in the form of reduced IT staffing and reduced hardware expenditures. In general, these are the two most common benefits that organizations refer to as reasons for switching to the cloud.
Before your organization decides the transition to the cloud, it is vital to consider the amount of effort required for the implementation. Cloud ERP implementations are not easier than traditional ones. The most common problem is poor cost estimation and is likely related to the lack of an appropriate framework for enterprise-wide prepackaged software maintenance, which of course requires an ongoing relationship with the software vendor. Moreover, you should keep in mind that all typical issues, such as organizational change management, adoption and use of new business processes are always an obstacle, no matter what ERP solution you choose.
Therefore, whether you are implementing an on-premise or cloud-hosted ERP solution, operational improvement is achieved only through guidance from a highly experienced implementation partner, proper resource allocation and executive commitment. To realize cost savings from cloud ERP, organizations should also budget for all essential components, including everything from organizational change management to business process re-engineering (BPR).
Here are 3 tips for maximizing cost savings with cloud ERP software:
- Know your Requirements – You should gather all the requirements and complete Business process mapping (BPM) before the implementation so that your organization can select the ERP solution that best fits your business.
- Partner with the Right People – Cloud ERP software requires an IT Partner with unique skill sets. Look for a Vendor who has experience in your industry and has a number of references.
- Understand the Costs – When evaluating ERP vendors, consider the total cost of ownership (TOC) and not just upfront costs. Remember that TOC is like an iceberg, which means a lot of the costs are usually hidden.
If you incorporate all of the above tips in your strategy, it will not only save money on upfront infrastructure costs but it will most definitely realize cost savings in IT staffing, licensing fees and annual maintenance. These fees only escalate the longer you wait, thus plan to engage in organization change management and business process re-engineering (BPR) early in the project.
By: Doriana Kote, Marketing Assistant, WebSan Solutions Inc., a Canadian Certified Microsoft Partner