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TECH TIPS: Important things to consider in evaluating ERP providers

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Selecting ERP software that can help you manage critical operations such as shop management, quality control and customer relationships requires entering into long-term business relationship. PHOTO courtesy Flow.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a type of software that manufacturers use to manage their critical business activities and operations like shop management, accounting, project management, customer relationships, and quality control.

When you’re selecting an ERP solution, however, it’s not just buying software off the shelf. You’re entering into a partnership that will change your operations for several years if not a decade or more. The experts at Global Shop Solutions have published “The Ultimate Guide to Purchasing ERP Software” to make the selection process a more informed one. Following is a excerpt from that document to help you with your search.

Here are 4 C’s to remember when you’re evaluating ERP providers.

1. COMPLETE. Choose a fully-integrated system.

2. COMPREHENSIVE. Look for ERP that has the latest tech and features but is also easy to use.

3. CUSTOMIZABLE. It should allow you to create tailored reports and options without requiring

modifications by the vendor.

4. COHESIVE. The best ERP has been developed by the same company, so all different modules

work together seamlessly.

As you’re researching and reaching out to ERP providers, here are some important things to remember and good questions to ask:

ABOUT THE COMPANY:

1. Are the people at the top great leaders that maintain good values within their company?

2. How long have they been in business?

3. Is this a culture you’d want to be to a part of?

4. Will their culture blend well with yours?

5. Can they help facilitate the growth I want and help me achieve my goals?

6. Is their staff happy and do they maintain a low turnover rate?

7. Are they financially stable?

8. Does this ERP provider have a lot of outside investment?

9. What does their debt ratio look like?

ABOUT THE SERVICE:

1. What are their average hold times when you call in?

2. Where is their support team based?

3. Do they offer 24-hour support?

4. Do they offer ongoing, free training after implementation?

ABOUT THE SOFTWARE:

1. Is their system easy to use and simple to navigate?

2. How frequently are updates made to the system?

3. Does the software have the ability to successfully integrate with software I am already using?

4. Will this ERP system run on what I already own or will I have to buy a new system?

5. Does this ERP system fit my budget?

6. Are there any hidden long-term costs or fees?

7. Is this shop floor module robust and inclusive?

8. How is the quality module?

9. Does the inventory module look complete and simple to use?

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