A type of software known as enterprise resource planning (ERP) is designed to take a lot of the effort out of running your business. Essentially, ERP software allows business owners to manage or automate certain critical processes, such as planning, marketing and human resources, all from one place. An ERP can be extremely useful to businesses trying to streamline their operations. For this reason, keen business owners are always trying to find the perfect ERP. But does such a thing exist? Yes and no.
No Two Businesses Are Exactly Alike
Part of the reason why it’s hard to say there’s one “perfect” ERP is because there is too much business diversity for one system to be the best in every situation. Generally, ERP is seen as a type of enterprise application, which is software for big businesses that might even require full teams to keep it running smoothly. Obviously, this isn’t going to be feasible for a small business owner trying to optimize their workflow.
There are, however, ERP systems designed specifically for small businesses. These can play a significant role in helping small business in a variety of ways, such as by cutting down time spent integrating data from different departments.
Successful ERP Software Improves Productivity
The ultimate measure for ERP solutions is how much they can boost workflow productivity. The main reason ERP software is able to make businesses more efficient is because it allows for important functions to be centralized in one place. Simply cutting down on redundancies and non-conforming processes will automatically improve the efficiency of a business. There are, however, more specific ways a good ERP software can improve productivity, such as streamlining the process of business analytics.
Pick and Choose What ERP Applications You Need
For an ERP platform to be truly “perfect,” it needs to afford business owners the option to determine how they use it. Most new ERP systems coming out these days work in phases, meaning you don’t have to integrate the entire program all at once. Not only would this be a tough pill to swallow for most businesses (migrating to new services is a struggle even if all employees are on board with the change, which certainly isn’t typical), it wouldn’t make sense for a business to use something that truly provides it no value.
The more a business can determine how it wants to use ERP software—as opposed to the applications forcing businesses to adapt to them—the better. An ideal ERP should allow for users to intuitively customize the program to fit their needs.
Customer Support Is Critical
By using ERP software, a business is inherently admitting that they can improve daily functionality by utilizing outside resources. If the managers of a business understand that, they should also see the value of finding an ERP provider that offers exceptional customer service and support. You almost certainly aren’t going to be able to troubleshoot every issue that comes up when implementing and running ERP software. Even businesses that can allocate resources to having team members dedicated to maintaining the ERP system need to ensure they can get help when they need it. Otherwise, there can be dire consequences when issues do inevitably arise.
While it’s difficult to say what specific features make the perfect ERP software, there are definitely aspects to keep in mind when shopping around for an ERP provider. By prioritizing these fundamentals, your business can find the best fit for its ERP.