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Are you an Australian Mid-Sized Enterprise who has outgrown their entry-level accounting software? If you are, you're ready to graduate to an ERP software solution. Most Australian companies and organisations now recognise that their processes, systems and procedures can be significantly enhanced with the robust functionality delivered by a modern ERP software solution.
Your challenge now is to determine what ERP software solution best suits your business model. Australian companies and organisations usually commit to an ERP solution for a minimum of 7 years, which is why it is so important to consider all of your options before choosing a solution.
Selecting the right ERP software solution – Where to start
When selecting an ERP solution, you must give serious consideration to your unique industry requirements. For example, service, manufacturing, retailers and distributors have very different requirements from construction and engineering as well as non for profit businesses. It's important to determine that the solution not only supports your industry but will allow your business to grow and that the software can grow with your business.
When selecting an ERP software product and seeking a solution is being planned for your business, here are a number of helpful things to keep in mind:
Purchase from a Local Professional ERP Software Partner
The ERP implementation provider you choose today will be working with you for at least the next 7 years, so it's important you feel you can work with them. It is also important to get a supplier that can meet your ongoing needs. Did you know that approximately 95% of businesses in the industry have less than 19 staff members? (ABS 2013)
Start your selection process by researching for the best local ERP implementation vendors available to you. The best ERP partners will deliver ongoing training, support resources, and are dedicated to delivering a positive implementation process. A good ERP partner is one that has a proven and robust methodology for delivery of training and support, in addition to being dedicated to helping you take advantage of software advancements and updates.
The right ERP solution must drive innovation
The best ERP solution needs to be proactive, flexible, and modular as well as being a comprehensive solution that delivers not only productivity benefits but also scalability.
Your business is not static. Neither should your ERP Software solution. You need a solution that is flexible enough to adapt to your changing needs. Equally important, you need a solution that is committed to innovation, to ensure you 'stay ahead of the curve.' The best modern ERP software solutions are modular, allowing you to add and remove modules to meet your changing needs.
A modular solution ensures you are only paying for the features you actually need. The best ERP systems are those with modular architecture and provide support for everything from purchase management and project management to customer relationship management (CRM) and accounting and finance management as well as HRM and Payroll.
Do your Research
The temptation with ERP software is to choose brands that are internationally recognised. This may have been the course 10 years ago, however, many of the more recognisable ERP brands have fallen behind some of, the lesser known, and more agile and innovative ERP solutions especially in the Mid-Sized Enterprise space.
If you want the very best solution, you need to make sure that you research the business functionality of your preferred ERP solution and look for strong workflow, business process management, forecasting, data warehousing and reporting, contact management, sales & marketing management, business intelligence, security management and risk management attributes. The greater the functionality, the greater the productivity gains your enterprise will achieve.
Business Intelligence and Reporting
What drives the best ERP solutions on the market today? It is the Business Intelligence and Reporting capabilities that provide you with the type of insights that allow you to make more informed decisions.
Not all ERP solutions have integrated Business Intelligence built into the software, or the ability to integrate a state of the art BI tool nor provide the business with the business intelligence tools required. While most ERP systems do a solid job of processing transactions, the better systems have advanced reporting functionalities that allow you to make much more sense of data.
Employee Buy-In and Implementation
Nothing undermines the effectiveness of business software faster that poor user acceptance. To avoid this outcome, the system you choose should be intuitive and easy to use, making it an enjoyable experience for all users.
You also need to include your employees in the implementation process. This is key to your employees feeling comfortable and secure about the new solution being implemented. If you can achieve this, then the business will have a much better chance of fully utilising the functionality of the new ERP software and have a very successful implementation.
If the ERP system you select delivers a high standard of acceptability and user engagement, your enterprise will have better data utilisation and management as well as the added bonus of a more productive and engaged workforce.
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