How To Choose an ERP Software for Your Business

ERP business gear concept

As types of software go, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software can be a bit of an enigma. It's not as immediately obvious what it does, compared to marketing or payroll software.

Despite this, it offers huge opportunities for both users and investors alike. Experts predict the ERP software market to be worth $84,629,000 in 2020.

For newcomers to ERP, it can be difficult to know where to start. Which are the right platforms and what features do you need?

Are you wondering how to choose ERP software? Read on to learn more.

What is ERP Software?

The name won't give you many clues about what it is or what it does. That's partly because it covers such a wide range of other applications.

Your business may already use a range of programs. Think of accounting software, customer relationship management (CRM), or inventory management.

Trying to run many applications can become time-consuming as you work across platforms. Enter ERP software to solve the problem.

It streamlines your process by integrating all the functions into a single system. At its heart, it's a shared database. That means everyone can access the same data, even if they have different needs.

It started out in the manufacturing sector in the 1960s. Workers needed to manage and control inventories. Software engineers wrote bespoke programs to do this.

This paved the way for other systems in the 1970s that plugged into the production process. It evolved beyond inventory management in 1990, when it absorbed other tasks like human resources or CRM.

How to Choose ERP Software

Businesses have different needs so there's no 'one-size-fits-all' ERP software on the market.

Instead, businesses buy modules on an individual basis that fit their needs. A module might handle marketing, distribution or accounting.

The business combines modules to create an ERP system that suits the way they work. There are common trends across systems but they're still dependent on what each business does.

A platform like Acumatica will let you add features over time. It's a more flexible solution that lets your ERP software match the growth of your business.

Questions to Ask

Does the software include accounting software?

Is there a built-in CRM to keep your data about leads and customers in one place?

Can you track financial operations on a daily basis, or in real-time?

Does it offer different modules depending on what your business does? (i.e. manufacturing, commercial, etc.)

Can you connect staff who work 'in the field' with your back office?

Will it track your project costs?

Does it offer a cloud-based option for better access?

Ask your chosen provider if they can offer these capabilities. ERP software can do so much more but these give you an excellent place to start.

Which ERP Software Will You Choose?

Now you know how to choose ERP software. Start with the type of business you have to dictate which platform you adopt. The business type will influence the available modules.

You may have other considerations more specific to your business. Contact your target providers to see how they'll handle your specific needs. If it's not immediately clear, try another provider.

If you're looking for more business advice, why not try our other Business articles?


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