Enterprise Resource Planning
Growing businesses are often faced with a tricky problem as they evolve: when should they start using an ERP solution to run their business? Move too early and the company could be overwhelmed with complexity while realizing only a minimal value. Moving too late can mean that the business is losing out on efficiency and leaving growth on the table. ERP literature is flush with implementations gone wrong and their adverse impact on the business, and that worries managers. This buyer’s guide is written to help managers make sober decisions. Read more.
Compare ERP Solution Providers
The Power of Any
Any service, geography and complexity
Leader in Enterprise Service Management
Native EPM, EAM and ESM
Business management solutions for SMBs
Multisite, multicompany, multilanguage
Pay-as-you-go pricing plans
Sage Business Care service plan
The World's #1 Cloud-based ERP Software
Slash financial close by over 50%
Save up to 93% in IT costs
Real-time visibility 24/7
Built-In Is Simply Better
Most Extended Cloud Enterprise App
Cloud B2B & B2C business portals
Anytime, anywhere and from any device
Engineered for speed
For manufacturing and distribution
Intuitive user interface
Used by more than 70,000 customers
Cloud ERP Designed for People
Agile for frequent, ongoing changes
Extensive list of business modules
Social and mobile features
Keep your business going and growing
One license, all functionality included
Easily adapt as your needs change
Built-in Office interoperability
Inspired ERP Inspires Preformance
Specialized by industry
Supports the global enterprise
Available in more than 30 languages
The Best-Run Businesses Run SAP
More than 40 years of experience
Supports 25 different industries
Supports global businesses
Platfrom of Choice for CFOs Worldwide
Hundreds of cross-industry capabilities
Support for emerging technologies
100% agile development
Leading Construction Accounting Software
Effectively allocate resources to tasks
Identify critical interdependencies
Detailed, timely Work In Progress repors
Award-Winning Cloud Accounting Software
AICPA's preferred financial application
95% subscription renewal rate
Free, 30-day full trial
Where Software Works
For strongly regulated industries
Multi-language & multi-currency
Serial Number Traceability
As Easy as Connect. Deploy. Enjoy!
Simple, user-based subscription fee
1-3 month implementation
99.5% sytem uptime
Symplifying Your Success
35 years of ERP experience
More than 15,000 satisfied customers
98% customer retention rate
#1 Construction Accounting Software
Up-to-date job costs for quick decisions
Complex card time entry made simple
Interactive reports for Executives
Fully integrated construction software
Effectively manage your budget
Create, update & manage job schedules
Native eMobile software solution
Quality Solutions Meet Real World Needs
Increased credit card data security
Versatile reporting and data access
Improved PBS SQL processing speeds
Create complex estimates and quickie quotes
Generate shipping labels and track shipments
Align purchase needs with orders
Automatically find best prices
Flexible ERP support mixed mode manufacturing
Flexible and easy to customize
Inbuilt CRM capability
Exceptionally good search capability
Built to automate wholesale and distribution
Provides support for multiple industries
Provides very board range of functions
Close support of training teams
Handle needs of many different manufacturers
Supports make / engineer to order
Handles very complex configuration
High quality support teams
Cloud based easy to use ERP solution
Completely track any business transaction
Highly affordable and flexible
Feature rich and very easy to deploy
ERP solution focused on clothing industry
Manage complete product lifecycle
High quality customizable reports
Vast range of industry specific functions
Engineering support ERP tracks real time data
Good native integration with QuickBooks
High quality customer support
Server based-solution, requires hardware
For Pharma, personal care and cosmetics
Suited for specialty chemical industry
Great process management features
Continuously improved and user friendly
Customizable ERP for construction industry
Web based design, accessible via mobiles
Some modules available offline as well
Additional components available
Open Source ERP available on cloud or on premise
Offers BI, reports and automated workflow
Very easy learning curve
Excellent user reviews
User friendly ERP for small / medium businesses
Highly visual ERP with drag and drop features
Very flexible and cost effective
Easy interfacing with QuickBooks
Focus on user roles instead of software modules
45 applications used to define 100s of roles
Very intuitive, user friendly interface
Check out carefully that your SOX needs are met
ERP Buyer's Guide
There are four important components of the decision to select a particular product:
- The business requirements driving the decision
- The product selection processes
- Understanding costs - direct and indirect costs
- Understanding vendors and the data required to shortlist vendors before making a final decision
Understanding Your Business Requirements
In general an ERP buyer can be classified as one of the following:
- Basic buyer: this is a midsized buyer. Their business processes are not too complex, and there is limited in-house IT talent. The requirements of such a user can often be met by an off the shelf solution, without the requirement for too much customization.
- Enterprise-class buyer: these are more complex business that are more concerned with scalability, integration with other enterprise class systems and global usage. Such buyers want systems that can be customized extensively, and have good in-house IT support.
- Niche area buyer: these buyers have very specialized requirements that will probably not be met by a general purpose solution. They could also have to meet complex sector-specific regulatory requirements as well. Typical examples are pharmaceutical businesses, banking and finance and certain service sectors such as logistics management.
- Module buyer: some buyers opt to use just a few ERP modules instead of a full suite. These are buyers who are very price sensitive and have identified a specific area in their business that they want to improve.
Understanding one’s buyer type is important to the short listing process.
ERP Buyer's Considerations
Over time, the following features have been found to appeal most to buyers (ordered by importance):
- Industry-specific feature list
- Performance & Reliability
- Quality of Customer Service
- Quality of vendor
- Vendor experience
- TCO and modes of financing
ERP Product Selection
Cloud Hosting (cloud-based solution):
An early part of the product selection process starts by deciding whether the solution will be hosted in-house or in a data center. Most medium businesses could opt for a “Software as a Service” (SaaS) solution where an ERP vendor runs the product in a data center and the business simply purchases a number of licenses or seats. This simplifies the setup and removes the need to manage servers and databases.
In-House Hosting (on-premises):
One issue with SaaS solutions is the limited capability to customize the solution. Larger businesses will probably require extensive customization and may want a solution that is hosted in-house. While this means higher upfront costs and a more complex installation and setup, such users typically have qualified IT personnel who can undertake these tasks.
Most ERPs start with a few core modules and add on to these to build a complete product. These core modules have features that almost all businesses use. These core modules are:
- Human Resource Management Modules: this module typically handles payroll functions, time management, various benefits, HR policies, training and skill management etc.
- Financial Management Modules: these relate to financials that ‘run’ the business - general ledgers, accounts payable and receivable, billing, taxes, collections and so on.
- Manufacturing Modules: handling the automation of manufacturing operations, materials requirements, capacity planning, scheduling, shop floor control and work order management etc.
- Project Management Modules: forecasting, planning and budgeting, handling change requests, tracking progress, document management and so on.
- Supply Chain Management Modules: handling the flow of materials through all phases of business activity
- Customer Relationship Management: managing the contact center, campaigns and leads and other aspects of ongoing customer relationships
Almost all businesses will have a requirement for some or all of these modules. Once a required features list has been drawn up and some solutions are short listed, project managers will check carefully to see how the required features are actually implemented.
User interface is becoming an increasingly important issue. This has direct bearing on the usability of the software.
Most users begin the short listing by reviewing trade literature, user reviews and using consultants. However, once some ERP vendors have been shortlisted, it is important to see an actual trial. With many cloud based vendors, this can be easy if the vendor gives clients trial access for a few days. With an on-premise installation, things can be trickier. The vendor will be required to install a trial version of the solution and load some actual data. It is important to make the trial runs as realistic as possible so that users can get a good idea of the functionality and the ease of use.
Many things go into the calculation of costs of the ERP system. These can be broken down into three subheads - direct costs, indirect costs and surprises.
- Direct costs: these are the easiest to calculate. They depend on the licenses you are acquiring, the modules you plan to use, the additional hardware to be procured etc. Most of these can be given by the vendor of the solution.
- Indirect costs: these include costs for any additional software, customization, training, data migration, any additional hardware or infrastructure etc.
- Surprise costs: these include costs of follow up services, additional staff requirements, opportunity costs of running parallel systems, etc.
In most cases, the vendor will not tell you about indirect and surprise costs. Managers will need to figure these out.
ERP Vendor Selection
With reselling being the norm in the industry, many vendors could offer the same product. Proper vendor selection is therefore an important determinant of success of the project. It is important to select a vendor with:
- Great vendor reputation and a verifiable track record of successful installations / rollouts
- Experience in the same industry segment as the business installing the ERP
- Sound policies for post implementation support, updates, upgrades, etc.
Selecting and implementing an ERP is perhaps one of the most complex tasks a manager can undertake in the software domain. It is critical that the ERP be looked at as a strategic asset rather than as an application. Involvement of senior management in every aspect of the selection and implementation process is critical to the success of the project.