The availability of choice has seeped into every aspect of modern day life. From the cars we drive to the food we eat and the holidays we take, to the way we choose to spend our leisure time, the possibilities for consumers have become almost limitless.
The needs of today’s business owners may be more complex, but at the heart of every business owner is still a consumer. This means that the demand for choice and flexibility in the business arena is just as robust as that of the consumer market.
So how does all of this relate to ERP?
An ERP system is an integral part of operations, and your requirements of this system will be different if you are operating, say, a tin can factory in Toronto or manufacturing stereo equipment in Sydney. This means that a one-size-fits-all approach is not always the ideal solution. To this end, a flexible ERP solution could save you money by deploying what is needed up front, and then adding functionality as the business grows.
This flexibility is not the only thing you should look out for when selecting an ERP solution, here are some key questions you should ask yourself as you consider solutions:
- How Do You Want to Pay for Your System?
One of the most important aspects of choosing a business management system is making sure you are offered a range of options when it comes to payment. At the very least, this should include when you pay, either upfront or ongoing, whether you want to lease or own your licenses, and the choice of how you administer your software and licenses.
- What is Your Preferred Deployment Choice?
Depending on your requirements, you should have the choice on how to deploy your solution, i.e. whether your ERP solution is deployed in the cloud, on-premise, or both.
- How Do You Want to Engage with Your System?
Are you using your system on a mobile device? What role do you play in your organization? Are your office-bound or on the road?
The user must be at the center of all decisions around how a business engages with its ERP. Questions need to be asked regarding organizational roles, operational needs, remoteness locality, and individual preferences. At the bare minimum, you should be able to choose between a desktop user interface (UI), a web UI, and a mobile platform.
- Does Your System Support a Transition to Digitalization?
New technologies are disrupting the status quo and digitalization is opening the door to infinite possibilities – this will have profound implications for the way companies will do business in the future. It is, therefore, becoming increasingly important to ensure that your business makes the right choices to enable your journey towards digital transformation.
The reality right now is that the business choices you make today will affect your competitive advantage and your ability to remain relevant in a rapidly-changing business environment.