Many businesses recognize that their systems, processes, and procedures can be enhanced with the functionality delivered by Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software. The decision to use an ERP is based on the expertise, resources and individual needs of a business. The size of a business and the industry it operates in are crucial considerations in the structuring of an ERP package. When buying ERP Software, keep the following tips in mind. Plan ahead and do research Before making any major infrastructure investment it is critical to do some research. Your business is unique and so you can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. The ERP solution must be able to fulfill the specific requirements of your business. It helps to define and understand your business processes so you can give a vendor an idea of what you’re looking for and the capabilities you require to run your business. Forecasting, planning, contact management, data warehousing, marketing management, mobile business intelligence, security and risk management are some of the attributes of comprehensive ERP systems. Finding out about the business architecture of the ERP enables you to see if it has the attributes you need. Partner with the right provider Choosing the right partner is as important as choosing the right ERP software. Your ERP solution may be just the right fit for your business but implementation with the wrong partner can cause major problems. Select a trusted, reputable provider who will support you throughout the installation process and even after the system goes live. The best ERP partners deliver support resources and ongoing training to make implementation go smoothly. Make sure the system is user-friendly The most important element is the adoption. If your employees aren’t comfortable working with your new ERP system, it doesn’t matter how impressive it is. They’re likely to agree that your old system is not adequate but the old system is the one they understand. If they are able to fully utilize the functionality of the new system, your business will be on its way to better project management and data optimization – with the added benefit of a more engaged and productive workforce. Training is a key investment that will enable quicker and more long-lasting adoption of an ERP system. Make sure that employees understand the impact on their jobs and how they stand to benefit from the change. Reassure them that they will receive the necessary training to make them comfortable with the transition. Choose a flexible solution to allow for scalability The ERP solution needs to be flexible. The best systems have open module architecture and support for everything from accounting and purchase management to customer relationships and project management. You want a comprehensive solution that not only helps your productivity but can grow with your business and support varying needs such as more customers, more users, and more locations. Focus on business intelligence You don’t want to purchase the least expensive option and then find out that it doesn’t really offer what you need. Think about the long-term savings you can achieve with the right solution. The best ERP solutions on the market today are driven by powerful business intelligence. Most ERP systems will competently process transactions and get data into the system in a relatively easy fashion. But the top-end systems allow users to use data effectively to get meaningful business insights. Without readily available data from all departments, it is challenging to make the best decisions. If ERP software offers readily available, meaningful data to support business growth, it’s likely to provide great value to your business.