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There are few decisions more important for a business than what cloud ERP system to choose. The right system can be the foundation for growth, the wrong one can become a handicap. Below are 11 tips for choosing and implementing the right cloud ERP system for your business compiled by CIO Magazine.
1: Plan in Advance– Implementing a new cloud ERP system can often be a business-changing process. Challenges, both internal and external are likely to arise. While external challenges with an implementation must be met as they come, planning for and minimizing internal concerns in advance can go a long way to ensuring a smooth implementation. Having a plan that has been discussed in detail before going in is vital.
2: Look for Areas to Improve– A new cloud ERP system can be a fresh start. Simply looking to replicate all your businesses current processes is a waste of potential. As the search begins companies should be looking at their inner workings, trying to pinpoint areas that can be improved or optimized with a new cloud ERP platform.
3: Prepare your Data- Companies need to be mindful of their existing data collection and storage capabilities. A new cloud ERP system will be operating with the data provided at go-live. Is your business capable of bringing in the data needed to ensure optimal results? If the answer is no your business needs to address it before implementation.
4: Focus on What Matters- While businesses understandably will want every section of their company to be improved right away by an ERP upgrade experts recommend focusing on a small number of business-critical functions at first, allowing the implementation to focus on the aspects of a business that will need immediate attention.
5: Be Future-Focused- Companies need to plan for the future, not simply fixate on what issues they’re currently facing. Choosing the right cloud ERP partner can “future proof” your business- don’t make the mistake of focusing too much on the present.
6: Take a Test Drive– Conducting a demo at the beginning of the process, when you’re still considering prospective partners, rather than at the end after you’ve made your choice can help companies make more informed decisions. Hands-on time with the product can be invaluable when deciding between solutions.
7: Find a Partner, Not Just a Vendor- Selecting an ERP vendor is a commitment. The right provider will be your partner, not just your vendor. It’s vital for the future success of your company that you choose a partner that has experience not only in creating a solid platform, but in tailoring it to your industry’s unique needs.
8: User Experience Matters- The greatest ERP system in the world is only as good as its user interface. If end users are unable to operate the platform easily then the whole implementation will be for naught, regardless of how perfect the features fit your company. Make sure to focus on the end-user experience for the best chance at a smooth go-live, and happier employees.
9: Consider Outside Apps- No ERP system is entirely self-sufficient. Integration ability with a wide variety of outside apps is important, no matter how expansive the native functionality. When choosing a provider do due diligence on how other apps connect to the system, or face untold trouble after the fact.
10: Custom vs Standard? Decide Now- The urge to customize a platform to suit a businesses needs can be a real driver, and an understandable allure. Over-customization, however, can pose a real problem when it comes to long-term functionality. The current trend in ERP is toward standardization, keeping businesses on the established vendor path. Have a plan going into an implementation, or face difficult decisions after.
11: Choose a Modern Solution- Modern ERP platforms have distinct bonuses over legacy systems. By being agile, often cloud based, and offering low or no-code add-ons businesses can maximize not only functionality but usability across a wide variety of spheres.
Doing your homework before entering the market for a new cloud ERP provider can make all the difference. Experts agree that focusing on key businesses processes and partnering with a forward-thinking provider can give businesses the best chance of succeeding.