• Michael Intravartolo

ERP Software Steps: When You Need it, and How to Begin


Taking the plunge and purchasing new (or for the first time) Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software system can be a daunting endeavor. There is cost involved, reorganization of how you run your business, training, and of course the goal of an ultimate return on your investment.

You can go into this choice armed with knowledge, which can help you make the optimal choice for your business needs.

Symptoms of a Company That May Need an ERP System

Described many times as ‘software aches and pains,’ there are a number of symptoms that demonstrate you may need Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software now, or soon.

  • Standalone Databases: Your employees rely on external workarounds, such as Microsoft Excel, to complete separate job tasks. There is no way to centralize the data in your system, and therefore there is no communication which results in decreased productivity.

  • Reporting Frustration: You need answers from your current system, such as profit and sales margins, product availability, sales productivity, complex financial reports and other necessary information to know where you stand, and where you need to grow. Your current system does not provide you with this vital information and reporting functionality.

  • Duplication of Work: Your software program is not centralized, and therefore separate departments must complete identical work to accomplish their job responsibilities. Your human resources are not being utilized efficiently, likely losing you time, money and productivity.

  • Compliance Issues: Your company has had difficulty, or has failed to meet regulation compliances such as International Reporting Standards (IFRS) and Sarbanes-Oxley. You have incurred auditing fees due to inadequate processes in place with your current software.

Software Functionality: Know what you want it to do.

Are you looking to save money, or have the latest technology available to your workforce? Or maybe you want to see data relating to your entire operation all in one place, gauge productivity at different work stations or make sure you are sales tax compliant across the country. Do you want to provide not only your vendors, but your customers, data and information that is easily accessible? Know what functionality you need and want from ERP software and be able to communicate those requirements to a potential software partner.

Steps to Take to Find an ‘ERP Cure’

  • Get informed. Information is flowing on the Internet relating to available options. Some good resources are www.inside-erp.com or www.erpsoftware360.com.

  • Request a demonstration. The above named websites list the different ERP software options available. They include the top three in the market share-Microsoft Dynamics, SAP and Oracle, in addition to other options. Experience a few demo’s and ask pointed questions relating to your business processes and how ERP can address them.

  • Choose the right partner. Experience and knowledge are beyond priceless when it comes to choosing a software partner - to not only sell it to you, but to implement it, train your employees, and provide support to you when needed. Investigate how long your potential vendors have been in business, ask for references and talk to their customers about their experiences. Consider strongly those who have a proven track record working [successfully] with companies similar to yours.

For additional information, contact Solution Systems, Inc. at 224-345-2011 or visit www.solsyst.com.

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