The 6 Stages of Finding the Best ERP Solution for Your Needs
Finding the right technology for your needs can often be a daunting task. Simply because we all have different business needs. Whether you are looking to invest in a new phone, laptop or internet connection, rushing into decisions that do not fit your business needs will cost you more than money in the long run.
Here are my six stages of finding the best ERP solution for your organisation that will help you avoid the headaches associated with making the wrong decision.
My 6 stages of finding the best ERP solution
1 – Defining what you need
One of my favourite quotes is from Albert Einstein.
“If I had one hour to save the world, I would spend 55 minutes defining the problem, and 5 minutes solving it”.
In other words, before you even decide what you’re looking for, you need to identify what you need. What happens when you go to a shopping centre without actually knowing what you need? You either end up spending money on items you don’t actually need or end up with nothing at all. Well, the same goes for ERP software.
If you don’t know what your business needs are, then when you eventually make contact with an ERP software provider, a clever salesperson will sell you features you don’t require or you won’t end up with a solution that actually addresses your business needs.
Either way, if you don’t know what your business needs are, it’s extremely rare that you will find the right solution.
2 – Do your research
It is very easy to be persuaded by the widely advertised brands or even the first one that you come across on Google. However, as I tell my clients, you should avoid individual websites initially and go directly to third-party and non-affiliated review websites which actually provide a non-biased review of each ERP solution. These websites help you understand what solutions are available so you can begin to refine your definition your business needs before you make contact with ERP Software providers.
3 – Study each product in depth
Almost every professional ERP solution will have a plethora of documentation, case studies, user guides and reviews. You wouldn’t buy the first TV you come across in the first store you enter, would you? Well, you should take the same approach to finding an ERP solution. Ensure you know what it does and the features available; read the documentation and analyse the success of others who have purchased the solution. Remember, you are looking for a solution that addresses your needs requiring a long-term commitment. You certainly don’t want to be changing solutions every few years!
4 – Take advantage of free or discounted trials
Most solutions on the market will provide an option of a free trial period or access to a demo database. Most reputable products on the market will provide a free trial period as they know that they have a good product and that buyers looking to purchase their solution are making a long term commitment.
My advice: If a provider does not offer a free trial ask them for one.
Quality providers will not hesitate to let you try before you buy! Making the decision to invest in an ERP Solution is a long term commitment. At Odoo we understand this and that is why we provide prospective clients with a trial period upon request, as we recognise that the decision to invest in an ERP Solution is important to prospective clients and we want our clients to be comfortable knowing they are making the right choice before committing for the long term.
5 – Speak to the experts
Put it this way, if you have $50,000 to spend on a car you wouldn’t go straight into a car yard without doing your research and seeking expert advice from professionals. The same principle applies to finding the best ERP solution for your organisation. You may think that you know what you want, or you might have even seen someone using it in the past, but at the end of the day, each business is different as we all have different business needs. When you speak to an expert about your requirements you will work together to find the right fit for your business.
The right ERP solution provider will listen to what you need and they will find the right fit or tailor a solution for your specific business needs. For example, at PNORS Technology Group, we have a very detailed business analysis process to define your requirements and we tailor Odoo based on the needs of our clients.
6 – Making the decision
Take your time, don’t base your decision on purely costs or on the ease of implementation alone.
The right decision should be based on finding the solution that addresses your specific business needs.
Standard off the shelf software might seem like a great idea due to the costs and the fact you have heard of the brand, however, unless the solution is a 100% fit for your business or customisable, it will rarely work for you and you will be faced with making the same decision again a few years down the track. Instead, ensure you put your trust in an ERP Solution provider that cares about your business needs and is willing to go above and beyond to exceed them.
Images: Deposit Photos
Dimitri Margaritas – Solutions Consultant, PNORS Technology Group
Dimitri has held a number of Business Development and Relationship/Account Management roles, primarily within the financial services industry. Dimitri has extensive experience assisting private businesses through to global, ASX listed entities amassing a breadth of experience that Dimitri draws on daily to assist his client’s attain their efficiency aspirations.
Dimitri has an Executive MBA (Monash University) and is a sales professional with a passion for spending time with clients to understand their business needs and working collaboratively to uncover solutions that specifically address clients pain points.