What You Need to Know Before Buying ERP

By Jelani Harper
Updated: August 24, 2011

One of the most prudent things which behooves a business to be aware of before purchasing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is that while such products have the potential to streamline processes and maximize efficiency by coordinating an organization’s disparate elements, they are no replacement for poor planning and ineffectual business strategy. Such systems only improve the efficacy of a particular enterprise when they are well-researched, thought out, and implemented in a manner that will make an organization as competitive as possible.

Vendor Selection

Although there are several different criteria to consider when selecting a vendor, the selection process that is ideal involves having a vendor bring in its trainer, and not sales representative, for a live demonstration of components which are as similar to an enterprise as possible. This way, organizations will be able to simulate their product while talking to a trainer who will be of continual use to a company, as opposed to a sales rep who is trying to expedite the sales process. Expect to pay for a trainer’s time, however, as any other company (which has previously purchased the vendor’s ERP) has already done.

Vendor Selection Team

Additionally, to determine the most advantageous EPR vendor it becomes necessary to have a team of as many employees, ideally from each of the respective departments that will be incorporated into the ERP, as possible to voice the respective needs of the separate entities which the ERP solution will link. The involvement of these various employees will help organizations ascertain the full amount of benefits, features, and potential costs that such a system will enable. This team should be headed by a selection manager who acts as an intermediary between the vendor and the prospective enterprise.

Module Selection

In order to discern which particular modules will most effectively streamline the business processes of a particular company, it is oftentimes useful to sample the historical data of particular software functions to realize which functions of the ERM solution will grant the most readily accessible and important data. This method allows organizations to gain a degree of insight into the many modules and sub-modules and their specific forms and functions.

Utilitarian Concerns

Standard utilitarian concerns for an ERP system include ease of use, integration/implementation time to get the system operating, quality of literature and training regarding the product, as well as scalability and potential for growth. All of these factors should be researched with a particular vendor to determine if its product will truly be useful in a timely manner.
 

Featured Research
  • Building Secure Multifactor Authentication

    As threats to password security have increased in recent years, multi-factor authentication (MFA) has rapidly gained adoption as a method for increasing the assurance of authentication for consumer and enterprise web and mobile applications. more

  • CIO eGuide

    Data is becoming increasingly important in business. As a result, more and more organizations are becoming attractive targets for hackers. Data breaches caused by stolen credentials are on the rise. You need smarter tools to protect your organization against the monetary and reputational damage caused by a data breach. This guide will explain how Okta Adaptive Multifactor Authentication (MFA) provides the security that IT needs, while also providing the simplicity end users want. more

  • Moving Beyond User Name & Password

    Typical web applications are protected with single-factor authentication: a user name and password. These credentials, in addition to being difficult to manage, leave sensitive data and applications vulnerable to a variety of common attacks. As enterprises adopt more cloud applications, addressing this threat will become critical. Unlike older on-premises applications, cloud applications are accessible to anyone on the public Internet. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is designed to protect against the range of attacks that rely on stealing user credentials. more

  • ERP in Higher Education

    ERP systems can greatly increase the efficiency of managing colleges, universities, and other educational facilities. GIven the advantages, it’s not surprising that many of the top educational institutions in the world are adopting ERP systems. That doesn’t make it right for everybody, though. There are cons to using ERP in education as well. more

  • ERP Providers Comparison Guide

    As we’ve mentioned before, there are hundreds of ERP vendors to choose between. This makes choosing one hard, but no less important for your business. Getting overwhelmed and making an uniformed decision certainly isn’t ideal, but neither is spending days upon days researching all your options. more