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Choosing Your Next Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System


One of the biggest decisions your company will make is the selection of an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system that allows you to manage your company’s internal business processes for the next decade or so. Too often this decision is made on a limited number of factors— unfortunately, namely price alone. More important to your decision, however, is the software provider itself and how they support their product.

Most modern ERP systems are fairly equal in functionality—they have to be to compete. Some are targeted toward a specific industry, and that can give them an advantage. But the best features today will be useless if the software vendor can’t keep up with the demands of your company, your customers and suppliers, and the expectations of the marketplace. Therefore, we encourage you to give the following two factors much heavier weight in your decision making.

1. What is the strength of the company that developed the software? Assess that company’s commitment to their products, their R&D budgets, their release schedule, and most importantly, their roadmap for the application. They should have a published roadmap that indicates their plans to enhance the product over time. Make sure they have the funds to do it. (Talk is cheap).

2. Who will support your company? Whether you prefer local support or are comfortable with remote or fly-in assistance, you want to make sure you have options. If the company is the only entity that can support the product, then your satisfaction depends solely on them. If they can’t provide the support you need, or if there are limited other options, then you are on your own. Choose a product with multiple support options, including a strong partner channel or a network of consultants that specialize in your product.

There are obviously other factors to consider in your choice. Price, features, usability and technology are all very important. But a product with no support, or a product soon to be discontinued because of lack of commitment from the provider, will do you no good, and you’ll be repeating selection process much sooner that you expected.

Want more information on choosing your next ERP system? Join us Feb. 4th at Berntson Porter & Company in Bellevue for a free ERP Implementation Seminar.
Click here for details.